What Can a Title IX Defense Lawyer Do For You?

Here's why you must talk to a defense attorney if you're facing a campus sexual assault complaint

If you or a loved one in your family faces an unjust accusation of campus sexual assault in the form of a Title IX complaint, you should immediately engage legal counsel.

First, you should know that the earlier you get skilled legal defense, the better. Title IX hearings often are pushed through rapidly by overzealous schools, which give the respondent (meaning, the accused or defendant) little time to prepare.

An experienced Texas Title IX defense lawyer can take a quick and early assessment of the case, and prepare accordingly.

What are Title IX defense strategies?

As for possible Title IX defense strategies that your sex assault defense lawyer can provide, these will depend, in part, on the details of each individual case. In any case, a Title IX defense attorney can:

  • Provide guidance to the respondent for every step in the process

  • Prepare the respondent for hearings and interviews at the institution

  • Make certain that the school adheres to its own Title IX procedures and policies
  • Make strategic decisions to secure the best defense against campus sex assault charges

  • Advocate and negotiate with the school's own attorneys behind the scenes to seek an agreeable resolution without need for a hearing

What are your school's Title IX policies?

Your Title IX discrimination lawyer will begin by examining your school's Title IX policies. This should start with an examination of its Title IX handbook or code of student conduct. Each institution will have its own standards, though many may be similar.

Some of the key elements of a Title IX code or handbook will include its definition of "consent" in sexual activity. Indications of whether the code extends to activities off-campus (many of them do) are also important, as are lists of procedures from a Title IX investigation to a hearing to potential sanctions or punishments.

What is "consent" under Title IX?

As for how consent is defined under Title IX, that will depend on the specific school, college or university. Likely, it will involve "affirmative consent," which sounds redundant but is used to underscore the necessity of both parties affirming their consent to mutually agreed upon sexual activity.

This may mean such consent must be mutually understandable to both parties, must be actively and freely given, and cannot be unlimited. In other words, consent to engage in one form of sexual activity doesn't constitute consent to engage in other forms of sexual activity.

In addition, consent cannot be ongoing in an indefinite manner. That is, consent can be withdrawn at any time. Keep in mind that, even without a refusal, a person who is drunk or passed out cannot give consent to sexual activity.

Is a Title IX defense lawyer really necessary if a student is accussed of campus sexual assault? Absolutely.

Are Title IX rules fair?

The question of fairness can be addressed by your Title IX defense lawyer. He or she can examine the school's Title IX handbook or code and determine if it's fair given the federal laws under which it exists.

Many of the legal rights which every American would have in a courtroom will not apply in a Title IX disciplinary hearing. As a result, your Title IX discrimination lawyer may have plenty to say about the alleged fairness of the school's Title IX rules.

In fact, some Title IX rules, procedures and punishments are so unfair that students have sued their school.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Brett Sokolow, president of the Association of Title IX Administrators, said over 300 students have filed lawsuits contesting Title IX punishments. Sokolow also estimated that up to 20,000 students at 4,500 universities and colleges have been disciplined for sexual misconduct.

Presumption of guilt prevails over due process

Part of the problem is that schools tend to make a presumption of guilt rather than the long-standing presumption of innocence to which each American is constitutionally entitled.

In fact, in the wake of a school rape scandal which led to dismissal of its university president and its head football coach, Baylor University in Waco, Texas adopted what has been described as an "anti-male" bias. That bias — and its presumption of guilt — led to a lawsuit by an assistant professor who'd had what he called a consensual relationship with a female student who later accused him of rape.

Unfairness leads to Title IX lawsuits

The Title IX lawsuit against Baylor claimed the university used "gender bias" in handling the case. In effect, a school which first overly protected males to the point of covering up sexual assaults by male athletes against female students then went to the opposite extreme of virtually condemning accused persons because of the simple fact that they were male.

More examples of Title IX unfairness in California led to a graduate student filing a class-action lawsuit against the University of California. That lawsuit asserted that campus policies against sexual misconduct were unfair and denied the accused due process.

This is especially problematic in the face of false claims of sexual assault.

Do you need a Title IX defense lawyer?

We hope you and your family can successfully resolve a Title IX complaint without facing unfair and severe punishments, and that a future lawsuit against a school or university will not be needed. But that outcome must start with getting the best Title IX lawyers you can find.

Contact our law firm for a confidential legal review of your case. We will advise you on what to do, and then you can make your own decision.

Rest assured that an experienced, skilled and knowledgeable Title IX defense lawyer from our firm will know what to do to protect your legal rights within an often unfair Title IX system. The school may not have your best interests at heart, but we will.

We're ready to help students in Houston, Harris County, Montgomery County of Fort Bend County. Contact us today and fight back with a defense attorney who knows how to protect your family's legal rights.

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