Title IX Attorneys

Serving students & Faculty nationwide

Title IX Explained: Title IX is a federal law created as part of the Education Amendments of 1972 that protects all students and employees from gender discrimination, sexual harassment and unlawful retaliation. This law applies to universities, colleges and any educational institution that receives federal funds. KJK’s Student & Athlete Defense practice group defends and advises students and university employees facing Title IX and sexual assault allegations.

 

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Title IX: Campus Misconduct 

If you reported a Title IX violation and the institution retaliated, our team is here to help.

Title IX: Due Process

Accused of sexual assault on campus? Title IX guarantees due process. We fight for it. 

Title IX:
Advising

Involved in a Title IX investigation? You have the right to an advisor. 

Title IX vs Criminal Charges

College campuses are not court rooms. Don’t let yours become one. Talk to us.

Title IX: Retaliation

If you reported a Title IX violation, and the institution retaliated, our team is here. 

Title IX: Due Process

Accused of sexual assault on campus? Title IX guarantees due process. We fight for it. 

Title IX: Advising

Involved in a Title IX investigation? You have the right to an advisor. 

Title IX VS Criminal Charges

College campuses are not court rooms. Don’t let it become one. Talk to us.   

Title IX

Updates

Under the new Title IX regulations that went into effect on Aug. 20, 2020, complainants and respondents in a Title IX investigation have the right to one individual of their choosing to serve as their advisor throughout the investigation process. The right to an advisor is extended so that both parties can have someone help navigate them through this challenging process. This includes providing support during each portion of the process and any meeting or interview that is associated with the investigation process.

Those accused of a Title IX violation have the right to:

  • A robust notice of allegations 
  • Live hearings 
  • The presence of a student advisor (typically an attorney) 
  • Cross-examination of parties and witnesses 
  • A pre-established standard of proof

TItle IX

Retaliation

If a student or faculty member reports a potential Title IX violation, the institution that has been reported does not have the right to retaliate.

In the case of a retaliation, KJK’s Student & Athlete Defense practice group is prepared to help you set things right.

Student Title IX Retaliation examples include:
  • Altering or lowering grades 
  • Harassment in the classroom or on campus 
  • Removal from campus organizations, sports teams or other campus activities 
  • Reducing a student-athlete’s playing time 
  • Suspending or expelling a student 
Employee Title IX Retaliation examples include:
  • Decreasing an employee’s pay
  • Harassment from supervisors
  • Altering job responsibilities
  • Firing or demoting
Sad young adult sitting on a bench
People working together on a project

Title IX

Due Process

Students or employees reporting or accused of sexual assault on campus – or at an event sponsored by the institution – are provided the right to due process under Title IX. Due process refers to the fair and equitable treatment of both parties in a case.  

As due process advocates, KJK’s Student & Athlete Defense team fights to ensure that every individual we represent receives the fair and equitable treatment that is promised to them.  

What this includes: 

  • A robust notice of allegations
  • Live hearings 
  • The presence of a student advisor (typically an attorney) 
  • Cross-examination of parties and witnesses 
  • A pre-established standard of proof 

Colleges and university Title IX investigations can vary greatly from campus to campus. Because of this, the application of due process looks different from one case to another. The best way to ensure that your rights are protected is to contact an attorney who can recognize the nuances of these situations.

Know the Difference

Title IX vs Criminal Charges

Those accused of sexual assault must understand the circumstances of the accusation. Campus Title IX investigations are not criminal cases and colleges are not courts. There are important differences that defendants must be mindful of, such as:

What’s the difference between a Title IX investigation and a criminal case?

A Title IX investigation and a criminal case are very different. While the two types of cases may involve the same alleged conduct and the same people, that’s where the similarities end.  A Title IX case is an administrative matter that can impact an accused student’s educational record and enrollment status with an educational institution.  A criminal case involves charges prosecuted in a court of law.  An accused student in a Title IX case can be found responsible, but the student will not go to jail.  If an accused student is found guilty of a criminal offense, the student may face a penalty of imprisonment and sex offender registration.  An accused student in a Title IX case does not have a constitutionally protected right to silence like the student does in a criminal case.  The burdens of proof are also different.  Title IX claims are generally evaluated for a preponderance of evidence, whereas criminal charges must be proven by a prosecutor beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the highest burden of proof in our legal system. 

When can a Title IX case evolve into something criminal?

At any time, a complainant in a Title IX case can decide to report the conduct in question to the police.  In fact, under the law, schools are required to advise complainants that they have the right to contact the police to file a report.  That being said, just because a report is made to the police does necessarily guarantee that criminal charges will be filed.  Police will conduct an investigation and then a prosecutor will review the case to determine whether prosecution is appropriate.

What's at stake?

In a Title IX hearing the defendant risks the possibilities of being expelled or suspended, losing credit hours of losing their diploma altogether. 

In criminal court the defendant risks the possibilities of being sent to prison, charged with a Felony, or registered as a sex offender 

Who is investigating?

In a Title IX hearing there is an investigator selected by the school that is responsible for collecting evidence.  

In criminal court law enforcement is responsible for collecting the evidence.  

How do they prove it?

In a Title IX hearing the standard of proof must be pre-determined by the institution, but it can vary from campus to campus. 

In criminal court, the complainant must convince the court that the defendant is guilty beyond any reasonable doubt 

Who makes the judgement?

In a Title IX hearing a panel of administrators, selected by the school, determine the outcome of the investigation. 

In criminal court there is a judge that makes the final decision.

Title IX

Advising

We have a national practice serving as student advisors in Title IX proceedings, with a resume that includes representing students at more than 90 colleges and universities across the country. Working with these students is our passion. The newly released Title IX regulations require schools to provide students with trained student advisors who are able to conduct cross-examination in live hearings.

Our dynamic team is devoted to protecting students’ futures by serving as student advisors during misconduct allegations and helping them navigate and understand the Title IX process and applicable policies. Our practice has earned a national reputation, and we are regularly hired as student advisors for campus Title IX investigations and hearings.

Attend

Any meeting or conversation related to an investigation including interviews with the investigator

Clarify

Any confusing part regarding your investigation process

Support

You during the investigation process from start to finish

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Assist

In understanding and navigating your Title IX investigation process from start to finish

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Question

Ask procedural or process questions relevant

Alert

The investigator or Title IX Officer to acts of retaliation 

Important to know:

Title IX Frequently
Asked Questions

What are the new Title IX regulations?

The new Title IX regulations have the effect of law and provide greater due process rights to all parties involved in campus Title IX proceedings.  There are significant changes in the new regulations regarding the scope of campus Title IX policies and the processes used by schools when responding to Title IX complaints.

My case began prior to Aug. 20, 2020, how do the new regulations impact me?

The Department of Education’s Q&A expressly noted that the regulations are not retroactive.

What happens during a Title IX investigation?

The investigation is the process by which the school collects evidence.  An investigator may be employed by the school or a third-party (typically a lawyer) hired by the school.  A school may assign multiple investigators to a case, depending upon the complexity of the matter.  The investigative process should be fair and equitable, which means that any opportunity a school offers to one party, it must offer to the other.  During the investigation, an investigator meets with the complainant, respondent, and witnesses to gather evidence.

What rights do I have if I am a complainant?

A complainant is entitled to a fair and equitable process. The burden of proof rests on the school.

What rights do I have if I am a respondent?

A respondent must be presumed not responsible. A respondent is entitled to a fair and equitable process. The burden of proof rests on the school. 

Do I need an advisor or lawyer for a Title IX investigation?

A student is entitled to select an advisor of choice. In fact, the new regulations clearly state that a school may not limit the choice or presence of an advisor. Having a lawyer serve as an advisor is important because that stakes are so high and Title IX cases have long-lasting consequences. A lawyer can assist with preparing the case to ensure that the student’s rights are fully protected and the relevant evidence is presented in a persuasive manner.

My school provided me with an advisor. Am I still able to retain a private advisor?

Every student going through the Title IX process should feel comfortable with his or her advisor. However, at any point in the process a student can change advisors.

What information will be shared with my parents?

It depends

FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of students’ education records. A school cannot share Title IX information with parents without the written permission of the student. While some students may not want to share case details with parents or loved ones, we encourage students to talk to their parents about what’s going on.

Can I be punished if I refuse to be interviewed or otherwise participate in the investigation?

The official answer is no. Recognizing the importance of the Fifth Amendment right to silence, the new regulations prohibit a school from drawing any inference about responsibility for a policy violation from a party’s refusal to participate in the process. However, on a practical level, respondents who do not participate in the process generally do not fare well because the claims remain unchallenged.

Can our firm help you even though you are not located in our state?

Yes, we represent students nationwide. We can travel when necessary or participate through virtual platforms.

What experience do we have handling Title IX and misconduct matters? What is our success rate?

We have been representing students in campus Title IX proceedings since the early days of implementation of the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter. We don’t have a specific “success rate” and would be incredulous of any statistic provided by a lawyer given the unique nature of Title IX cases. A successful outcome can be many things: winning a hearing, successfully negotiating information resolution, or navigating restorative justice.

Do you only represent accused students?

Historically, we represented respondents. However, in more recent years, our practice evolved to represent complainants and respondents given the demand for our services.

Can I be disciplined for conduct that occurred off-campus?

Prior to the implementation of the new regulations, schools could impose discipline for Title IX violations that occurred on campus or off campus. Under the new Title IX regulations, schools only possess Title IX “jurisdiction” for incidents that occur within the school’s education program or activity, against a person within the United States. An education program or activity includes locations, events, or circumstances over which the school exercises substantial control over the respondent and the context in which the harassment occurs, and also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the school. Study abroad programs are specifically excluded from the reach of Title IX. However, schools may still process such complaints outside the “jurisdiction” of Title IX under traditional student codes of conduct.

Can I be disciplined for conduct that involved someone who is not a student at my school?

A school can impose discipline under Title IX for incidents that occur within the school’s education program or activity, against a person within the United States. An education program or activity includes locations, events, or circumstances over which the school exercises substantial control over the respondent and the context in which the harassment occurs, and also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the school.

I suspect a Title IX complaint may be filed against me. Is there anything I can do in advance of a complaint being filed?

If you suspect a Title IX complaint may be filed against you, contact a lawyer to begin determining what evidence may be relevant and useful. If you believe you may be involved in an investigation, you may also find our Title IX Crisis Management Plan helpful.

How can I sue my school if I am not satisfied with the Title IX outcome or process?

In order to determine whether you may have the ability to initiate litigation against your school, please call us to discuss your case further. Generally, in order to bring litigation at the conclusion of a campus Title IX proceeding, all administrative avenues (such as appeals) must be exhausted.

Do we ever represent organizations?

Yes, we have experience representing student organizations. Please call us to discuss your case further.

Are Title IX investigations public?

Title IX investigations are confidential investigations generally protected by the scope of FERPA.

Do you represent students pro bono or on a contingent basis?

Please call us to discuss your case further.

See What Our CLients are Saying

Testimonials

Kristina and Susan are very competent ...

and experienced attorneys in Title IX and higher education law who treat their clients with integrity and compassion. Highly recommend this team!

Susan Stone, Kristina Supler, and Melissa Yasinow represented our male college freshman...

against a false Title IX claim of non-consensual sexual intercourse. Current Title IX laws are strongly slanted in the accuser’s favor, and our son was denied due process by the university. This legal team expertly highlighted the accuser’s false accusations, while exposing the university’s many inconsistencies. They were there when we needed them – quick to take our phone calls or respond to our questions and concerns. Without their expert legal advice, our son would have likely been another silent and unfortunate victim of current Title IX university policies. We give Susan, Kristina, and Melissa the highest of recommendations!

I was a member of a fraternity at a public university...

that was kicked off campus for reported hazing. My involvement with the fraternity was unaware of any misdeeds being done, and was shocked when the school charged me with failure to report hazing. Thats when I contacted Susan and Kristina, who were extremely helpful and wonderful to work with. Thanks to them they helped guide me through collecting proof of my innocence, which ended up leading to the result we wanted of no charges against me. I highly recommend their service to anyone who might need it!

You are the utmost professional counselor...

On behalf of my family and me, I would like to thank you for the excellent guidance you provided to us. You are the utmost professional counselor. We are grateful for your expertise during a difficult time. 

Services

K-12 Student Defense

KJK’s Student & Athlete Defense practice group is here to protect your child’s future. Defending students of all ages, our team is here to make sure your family is given fair treatment when it comes to disciplinary actions issued by your school district. 

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Title IX Crisis Management Plan

Title IX and Campus Misconduct Crisis Management Plan

Crisis Management PlanDos and Don'ts for those involved in Title IX investigations and accused of campus code violations. UPDATED FOR 2020 This is a cheat sheet to help students who have been formally sanctioned on campus. Download it today to avoid making a...