Title IX Defense Attorney
Defense for Legal & Disciplinary Actions in Salisbury & Surrounding Communities
“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.”
This tenet, established in 1972 as part of the Education Amendments Act, prohibits gender discrimination against students and employees of U.S. educational institutions and federally funded educational programs. Affected institutions include: local school districts, for-profit charter schools, state colleges, universities, libraries, museums, and more.
Unfortunately, what was originally intended to protect against discriminatory behaviors in the education system has since become a vessel for far too many false accusations and/or injustices during the procedural hearings that follow. If you have been accused of a Title IX violation, either as an individual or as an institution, my firm can help. I represent:
- Students accused of sexual assault
- Students accused of violating their school’s code of conduct
- Coaches and athletic faculty accused of unequal or unfair treatment
- Faculty and staff members accused of sexual misconduct or discrimination
Allegations of this nature must be taken seriously and should be acted upon quickly. As an established Title IX defense lawyer in Salisbury, I can help you prepare for the internal investigations and disciplinary hearings to come. In some cases, these hearings will go all the way to the superior court, and you need to be prepared if that happens.
Contact my office today at (410) 205-1684 for a FREE consultation. Backed by 20+ years of courtroom experience, I know how to fight and win Title IX cases.
Common Types of Title IX Cases
While most commonly affiliated with misconduct in the athletic realm, Title IX cases apply to a whole host of other accusations as well, including but not limited to:
- Disparate disciplinary policies based on gender
- Employment discrimination
- Inequitable treatment or funding of athletic programs and opportunities
- Retaliation in the form of denied participation on a sports team/reduced playing time/demotion to a less-desired position on the team; reduced grades; suspension or expulsion
- Sexual assault and harassment
- STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) or CTE (career technical education) opportunities
Students who feel they’ve been bullied, harassed, or otherwise discriminated against based on their gender (male, female, or transgender) can claim that a Title IX violation led to their mistreatment. In such cases, the accused will be subjected to a series of internal investigations and hearings conducted by the school itself. When this happens, the respondent (aka defendant) will need a strong defense attorney behind the scenes to help prepare for the proceedings to come.
It’s also important to note that students are not the only ones who can claim unlawful retaliation. Employees of educational institutions may also bring a Title IX claim for the following:
- Employer’s refusal to provide positive job reference
- Harassment / mistreatment from a supervisor or administrator
- Material change in job responsibilities
- Pay decrease
In such cases, the employee will need to prove that the demotion, termination, etc. was made in retaliation.
Sexual Harassment & Violence
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, Title IX has gained significant recognition for its role in cases of sexual violence and/or harassment on college campuses. As decreed by the Department of Education, educational institutions are required to quickly and meaningfully address any allegation of sexual misconduct, for the protection of the student(s). Failure to do so is considered not only irresponsible but potentially illegal, and educational facilities that fail to properly investigate these issues, even those involving false accusations, may find themselves under investigation for a Title IX violation.
These expectations have, unsurprisingly, led many institutions to act upon false claims in an attempt to avoid being brought under investigation themselves. If your case was prematurely brought to a close under such circumstances, my firm can help. I can also help institutions accused that have been accused of violations fight back. Call my office to learn more: (410) 205-1684.
Title IX Investigations & Hearings
Almost as soon as a harassment, sexual assault, or other Title IX complaint is made, the school or institution will begin the disciplinary process. However, the investigative process is NOT conducted like a criminal case, because it’s classified as a civil matter. This means you won’t have the same Constitutional protections, nor will you be considered innocent until proven guilty.
While complex, the Title IX investigation process does not follow the same legal standards as a criminal trial, which means you won’t be given the same procedural protections either. Key differences between a Title IX investigation and a criminal case that may not work in your favor include:
- some schools don’t allow the alleged perpetrator, or the alleged accuser, to be represented by their own attorneys;
- you may have to represent yourself at the hearing, if you get one at all (some investigations are conducted without ever having a hearing);
- you cannot direct questions to the person who accused you—if they’re even at the hearing;
- the person who accuses you may not be the “victim ” (in many cases, a third party files an anonymous complaint and you—the respondent—might never know who actually accused you).
A Title IX defense lawyer can advise you on how to proceed under these conditions, including how to conduct yourself during hearings, whether or not you should participate/make a statement, how you should dress, and more. Conversely, if you were not given the fair trial you deserve after being accused, a defense attorney can help you take the appropriate steps to fight the ultimate decision that was made.
How to Defend Against a Title IX Complaint
How we approach your case will depend on the nature of the accusations, your position at the institution, and what’s at stake. However, no matter what, you do NEED an attorney. Only a qualified and experienced defense attorney can help you:
- review your school’s Title IX policy to determine if it meets the government’s standards for fairness; “unfair” policies are a problem in and of themselves, and no institution wants that brought to light
- prepare for the questions you’ll be asked; unfortunately, you simply cannot trust the “advisor” provided to you in these situations, as they are almost always employees of the institution and, as such, may not have your best interests at heart
- preserve confidentiality so you stand the best chance at success during your proceeding
What Does Title IX Protect? And Other Common Questions.
What does Title IX protect?
Title IX protects all participants in public and private institutions that receive federal funding.
Do all schools follow Title IX rules?
Not all schools are governed by Title IX, but the majority are. The key factor is whether or not the institution receives federal funding, which can also take the form of financial aid and student loans.
Who enforces Title IX?
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education is responsible for enforcing Title IX, and all institutions that receive some amount of federal funding are responsible for complying with Title IX.
What will the hearing look like?
As mentioned earlier, these are NOT criminal hearings. As such, the government has granted universities flexibility and unprecedented discretion in how they conduct their investigative processes. That being said, there are key components that must exist in any/all proceedings. As determined by the Board of Education, these proceedings must be: adequate, reliable, impartial, prompt, and allow for both parties to present witnesses and evidence.
In all investigations, the objectives will be to:
- determine whether or not the alleged conduct actually occurred, and
- if it occurred, determine what actions will be taken to prevent such conduct from occurring again in the future.
Many Title IX investigations involve hearings, sanction boards, and student + administrator panels to determine if the school’s Code of Conduct was violated.
For more answers to your questions, visit the NCAA website here.
Title IX Defense for Students in Dorchester, Wicomico, & Worcester Counties
Even if you can’t have a defense lawyer formally represent you in your Title IX investigation, you’ll still benefit from the guidance and insight a legal professional has to offer. Without an attorney on your side, you could face expulsion or worse.
Contact my office today for immediate help in Salisbury or any nearby community. Your first consultation is free and confidential. Dial (410) 205-1684 to get started.
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Attorney William R. Hall is backed by over two decades of experience
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