Fort Lauderdale Title IX Attorneys
Protecting the Rights of Students, Faculty, and Staff Accused of Sexual Misconduct
Applying to K-12 schools as well as colleges and universities, Title IX seeks to ensure that all people have equal access to educational opportunities. The federal law, which was passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972, bans sex-based discrimination in educational institutions receiving federal funding. It extends to sexual misconduct occurring on campus or at specific school-related activities. While Title IX offers a platform for victims to come forward, because the policies and procedures for handling these matters do not fall under the jurisdiction of criminal courts, these cases often result in unfair or biased practices against the accused.
If you are alleged to have committed a Title IX violation, it is vital that you contact a skilled attorney about your case. Without competent legal representation on your side, you may be subject to unjust proceedings that place your academic or professional future at risk. At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., we are committed to helping the accused through these complex matters and protecting their rights along the way. Our Fort Lauderdale Title IX lawyers are here to deliver the counsel you need and explain your rights and options.
We will develop a strong defense on your behalf and seek an optimal resolution to your case. Schedule a consultation by contacting us at (954) 840-8713 today.
Conduct Leading to Title IX Investigations
Title IX is concerned with equal treatment of people of all genders within education institutions and in school-sponsored activities, events, and programs, including athletics. Any person or group – be it a student, faculty member, or staff member – who excludes another on the basis of sex is considered to have violated this federal law.
Types of conduct that could lead to Title IX accusations include, but are not limited to:
- Sexual assault
- Sexual harassment
- Sex-based discrimination
- Dating violence
Regardless of what you have been accused of, our Title IX attorneys in Fort Lauderdale are ready to vigorously defend you. While we do not condone any discrimination on the basis of sex, we also know that every story has two sides, and we want to hear yours.
Title IX Investigations and Hearings
When an educational institution receives a report of an alleged Title IX incident, it must take swift action to remedy it. Schools have Title IX investigators and coordinators who look into these matters to determine whether the accused is responsible for the alleged misconduct.
Although Title IX proceedings involve investigations and disciplinary hearings, they are, for the most part, quite different from the procedures involving a criminal case. For one, Title IX policies are established by the school, as opposed to a criminal court. Because of this, there is a risk that the accused's due process rights may be violated.
Also, when the school is attempting to determine whether the allegations are true or not, it applies either the "preponderance of the evidence" or "clear and convincing evidence" standard. Both of these are much lower than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard applied in criminal cases. Often, this means that the accused must fight extremely hard to prove they are not responsible.
At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., our Fort Lauderdale Title IX lawyers recognize that marked differences exist between school proceedings and criminal cases. That is why we fully familiarize ourselves with the institution's policies to ensure the case is fairly handled. We have a duty to protect our clients, and we will do what is legally necessary to ensure their rights are safeguarded.
Our team defends individuals accused of Title IX violations at educational institutions in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding areas, including:
- Florida Atlantic University
- Broward College
- South Florida State College
- Nova Southeastern University
What Should You Do if Faced with a Title IX Accusation?
Any person found responsible for a Title IX violation faces various sanctions, such as suspension, expulsion, or loss of tenure or employment. If you have been accused, you can take certain actions early on to avoid or minimize such adverse consequences.
Below are the top 10 things to guide you during your case:
- Do not make statements to anyone (this includes investigators and friends)
- Do not speak to school officials about the incident
- Do not speak to law enforcement officials over the phone (phone calls are recorded)
- Do not communicate with the complaining party
- Do write a detailed narrative about the events
- Do make a list of witnesses (along with their contact information) who can support your case
- Do make sure to preserve surveillance footage (if the alleged incident occurred where cameras were in use)
- Do preserve any messages (texts, social media messaging, etc.) between you and the complaining party (if such were exchanged)
- Do preserve physical evidence (bedding, clothing, etc.) – it may be tested later for DNA
- Do contact Hager & Schwartz, P.A. immediately!
Prepare Your Title IX Defense
If you are involved in a Title IX matter, our attorneys can guide you through this complex process. We will help you understand the allegations against you, possible outcomes, and the proceedings your case must go through. Backed by an in-depth understanding of administrative proceedings and criminal law, we can aggressively defend you during Title IX hearings and throughout a criminal case if charges are filed against you.
To discuss your situation with one of our Title IX attorneys in Fort Lauderdale, call us at (954) 840-8713 or contact us online today.
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