Should You Hire an Attorney for a Title IX Hearing?

The Title IX of the U.S Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination by universities and colleges based on sex and gender. This law applies to all schools (private and public) receiving federal funding. Any institution that violates Title IX risks losing its federal funding.

Well, Title IX is a complex law as each college or university uses different policies and procedures. Therefore, if your child is accused of a Title IX violation, you must hire a defense lawyer immediately.

What Does a Title IX Attorney Do for Your Child?

The lawyer has knowledge, expertise, experience and practical know-how to manage the Title IX violation case. As such, they’ll mount a strong defense in the school disciplinary committee. If the outcome is not favorable, they’ll appeal the decision in court.

A Title IX lawyer uses their expertise to ensure your child’s right to natural justice isn’t violated. These include the right to a fair hearing, the right to see, present and cross-examine evidence. Further, they’ll advise on how to challenge an outcome that’s not supported by sufficient evidence.

To build a strong defense, the attorney starts by investigating the disciplinary policies and procedures in the university. In most cases, these procedures are established with an inherent bias towards the accused person. In this case, towards your child. In most cases, institutions begin with either an informal preliminary or a formal investigation by a Title IX officer. The other makes his or her conclusions before forwarding the same to the disciplinary panel.

Unfortunately, many investigators have an inherent bias against men. The Title IX attorney does a background check on the specific investigating officer. The lawyer will check the public statement, publications, previous history, and social media posts to bring this bias to light.

During the hearing, the lawyer acts as your advisor. Further, they ensure that your fundamental rights of the defense in the OCR Title IX guidance aren’t violated. Such rights include the opportunity to:

  •         Review the accuser’s and witness statements
  •         Review all the documents and materials considered by the investigator
  •         Ask the accuser or their witnesses questions.

Further, the accused student has the right to:

  •         Give a statement
  •         Suggest witnesses support your defense.
  •         Introduce documented evidence like text messages, social media posts, or information communications to support your case.

 If there’s a bias or the university fails to follow laid down procedures, the attorney will record these objections. He or she will then use the records that bring violations to your child’s fundamental rights to appeal the outcome.

Even if you’re successful and the Title IX hearing finds out that your child isn’t responsible for the crime, the attorney will still prepare for an appeal. But why? The accuser may not be satisfied and may wage an appeal. As such, you don’t have to worry about the double trial.

However, if the hearing finds your child guilty of the accusations, the lawyer helps prepare for appeals. Further, the attorney helps prevent any sanction that seeks to increase the punishment based on the accuser’s appeal. Yes, the accuser can appeal for a higher sanction on your child. Don’t let this happen.

Why Should You Hire a Title IX Attorney?

What will you do if your child is accused of Title IX violations? Well, the best alternative would be to immediately engage a competent legal counsel.

The earlier you get this attorney, the better. In most cases, Title IX cases are rushed by overzealous schools that give respondents little time to prepare their defense. However, an experienced attorney will take an early and quick assessment of the accusation and prepare accordingly.