Why You Need a Title IX Lawyer
Whether you are accused of sexual misconduct or are being accused of violating Title IX by your school, retaining an experienced attorney can be the difference between protecting your rights and being found guilty. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and protect you throughout the investigation, hearing or appeal process.
The Title IX school’s Title IX officer will conduct an investigation. This is the first stage in any Title IX case. This may take many forms depending on the school but usually involves an investigator gathering evidence and speaking to witnesses. If the investigation leads you to a complaint, you’ll be notified. You will need to provide any documentation and other materials supporting your allegations.
A good Title IX Lawyer Tampa can also help you to determine your options if the Title IX investigation doesn’t result in a formal complain. This could include negotiating with schools to reduce or even eliminate any possible sanctions (e.g., suspension or dismissal) that might be issued by them.
A good lawyer can also help you appeal against a school’s decision to discipline or terminate you because of the accusations. Appeal hearings can be complicated so it is important that you have a strong legal advocate to help you through this confusing process.
You have the right of being a witness and to present evidence at your Title IX Hearing. This includes providing evidence of your innocence, such as text messages, emails or other documentation.
Hearings are conducted under the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard. This means that the panel will consider whether the evidence proves that you have committed the offense in question. This standard is much more burdensome than that of the “beyond doubt a reasonable doubt” criminal justice standard and can lead panel bias.
There are many ways to contest a Title IX probe, including filing a complaint at the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights or even a suit. An experienced attorney will help you prepare and file a suit.
A good Title IX attorney knows how to communicate with appropriate parties (e.g. student life, athletic department) to ensure your rights and interests are protected. They will also be able to communicate with the DOE-OCR on your behalf and will represent you at any hearings or appeals that you may need assistance with.
After a complaint has been filed with the Title IX office the administration will review it, and decide how to deal with it. As a first step, they will often impose “interim measures” to ensure that the complainant is protected. These measures may include a No Contact Order, which bars communication between the complainant or respondent until a hearing occurs.
These orders can have a significant impact on student’s ability attend classes, join clubs, or participate in other campus activities. They can also impact the student’s eligibility for financial aid, merit scholarships, and athletic scholarships.