Why Securing an Attorney as Your Advisor is Critical
The Title IX investigation process has many shortcomings. Trying to navigate a Title IX investigation without a proven, experienced attorney serving as your advisor is risky. Below are ten challenges of defending a Title IX accusation and why your first step in the process needs to be enlisting a criminal defense attorney with experience defending Title IX matters:
- Written policies and guidelines vary from school to school. The way in which a Title IX accusation is handled can vary at each institution. While each school must now follow federal regulations developed under Title IX, the written policies and procedures will still differ from school to school.
- Schools and other institutions are required to take swift action when it comes to Title IX accusations. Even if a student or parent does not want to pursue the matter, the educational institution is required by law, to conduct a proper investigation.
- Many moving parts to a Title IX accusation and investigation. See the Contant Law article regarding the Title IX investigation process. Making a wrong move can jeopardize your defense and, honestly, your life. This civil disciplinary action has far reaching consequences.
- The notification process. The accused may not be properly notified of the facts and circumstances surrounding the allegations.
- The demand process is a critical phase in the Title IX investigation process. It is strongly recommended that you carefully prepare your written and verbal responses to the accusations.
- Retaliation. Any perceived or real action that is interpreted to be retaliation can adversely impact the ability to successfully defend against the Title IX accusations. Worse yet, retaliation can be a separate disciplinary action.
- Nuances in the hearing process. While new federal regulations have brought some consistency to the Title IX process, including a presumption of innocence; equal access to information and that all matters are resolved by an evidentiary hearing with cross-examination, there are still difference in the process from school to school. At Contant Law we will explain the process and advise you on the proper course of action as it relates to the process at your school.
- Cross-Examination done by advisor only. The new Title IX regulations require a live hearing with cross-examination of all parties and witnesses who testify. However, the regulations forbid a party from conducting the cross-examination. You need an advisor experienced and skilled in the proper methods of cross-examination in order to get the best results.
- Limited due process. There are inherent problems with the way Title IX has evolved over the years. Recent regulations have tried to correct many of the earlier shortcomings, but there is still a long way to go to ensure a truly fair and impartial process. As the accused, you need to be fully aware of how the process is generally skewed to protecting the accuser and while you have rights, the process and power generally favors the accuser.
- Defending two potential cases. The potential for both school discipline and a separate criminal case is real. Certainly, having to defend two cases is daunting and overwhelming. Going it alone is not recommended. Protect yourself and get Contant Law in your court.
If you or a loved one faces a Title IX accusation, do not delay. Making the wrong move can jeopardize your defense. Get a proven criminal defense attorney to help you through this stressful, upsetting time leveraging the experience and know-how to navigate the complex and often confusing process. At Contant Law, we will be with you, at your side, explaining everything to you and advising you each step of the way.