Why Hire a Defense Attorney for a Title IX Case?
Title IX By Harvey Binnall PLLC - 2020/05/29 at 09:30am
Experienced Student Defense Lawyer
If you’re a student who has been accused of sexual misconduct under Title IX, then chances are that you’re feeling nervous and possibly overwhelmed by the prospect of a legal proceeding — and rightfully so. Title IX investigations can be extremely traumatic for the falsely accused, as they are often deprived of their rights (in both subtle and obvious ways) in an attempt by the school to “save face” and to avoid a potential loss of federal funds.
Title IX proceedings can vary from school-to-school, as each school implements its own procedures and requirements. In some universities, for example, the accused student is not entitled to cross-examine the student-accuser. They may also not be entitled to attorney representation in a hearing — if they are granted a hearing at all.
Despite these structural limitations, however, there are good reasons to consult with and retain a skilled student defense lawyer for your Title IX proceeding. Let’s take a closer look.
Attorneys Can Challenge Administrative Injustice
As noted above, the administrative adjudication process for Title IX disputes can be rather frustrating. Not only are the procedures “rigged” to disadvantage the accused student, but the standard for guilt is also significantly lower than a criminal proceeding. Title IX disputes are based on a “preponderance of evidence” standard, which requires just 51 percent likelihood of guilt (i.e., more likely than not).
Given these barriers, accused students must take care not to lose ground on certain procedural protections, too. For example, if the school limits admissible evidence, then your attorney can help you push against this limitation and ensure that you are able to introduce a more comprehensive body of evidence, which could counter the accuser’s claims.
Your attorney can help in numerous other ways, too — negotiating with administrators, taking a strict view towards notice requirements, and more. Taking an aggressive stand will ensure that your rights are preserved to the degree possible in a Title IX proceeding.
Statements Can Be Used Against You in Subsequent Civil and Criminal Proceedings
It’s important to note that any statements you make over the course of a Title IX investigation and proceeding — such as an admission of guilt — can be used against you in subsequent civil and criminal litigation (if the case develops further). Thus, what appears to be a more informal, casual process (i.e., the Title IX process) can have significant ramifications for you in formal state or federal proceedings.
In many situations, it’s not entirely clear what statements could undermine you in a later proceeding, and so it’s critical that you have a qualified attorney guiding you through. Your attorney will “coach” you on what statements can — and cannot — be made over the course of the Title IX process, thus minimizing potential liability at a later date.
Contact a Student Defense Lawyer at Harvey & Binnall, PLLC for Guidance
Here at Harvey & Binnall, PLLC, our attorneys have decades of experience working on behalf of a wide range of clients, including students who have been accused of sexual misconduct under Title IX.
Title IX disputes are sensitive by nature — they require expert handling and guidance throughout the process to ensure that due process and other rights granted to the accused student are not violated. In some cases, an independent civil dispute against the school may be necessary to secure one’s rights and damages, and to push for academic reinstatement.
We are — fundamentally — a client-oriented firm. As such, we invest significant time, attention, and resources towards each client, gaining deep insight into the case and giving us the ability to represent their interests more effectively in both the Title IX proceeding and related proceedings.
Ready to speak to an experienced student defense lawyer at our firm? Call us at 703-888-1943 or complete an online intake form to schedule a consultation.