Success for our Clients
Client, medical student at prestigious mid-western university, was falsely accused of non-consensual sexual activity by a fellow student. After a fundamentally unfair Panel Hearing before The University’s Title IX Hearing Board, the University found Client to be “Responsible” for violating the University’s Student Code of Conduct for “Sexual Penetration without Consent”. As a sanction for the alleged violation, the Client was permanently expelled from the University.
Client retained ZLM’s services to appeal the University’s decision and sanction. ZLM’s attorneys thoroughly investigated the case, including the facts, the evidence the law, and the fundamentally unfair procedures employed by the University. Thereafter, ZLM assisted the Client in submitting a lengthy appeal letter to the University. ZLM argued that the Client’s constitutional rights were violated by the procedural manner in which the hearing was held because the Client was unable to cross-examine his accuser. Further, ZLM argued that the University’s findings and sanction was against the manifest weight of the evidence presented during the hearing.
As a result of ZLM’s thorough analysis and persuasive briefing, the Client’s appeal of the University’s sanction was ultimately successful. The University reversed its previous decision to permanently expel the Client, and instead, imposed a far-lesser sanction of “Exclusion”, which permitted the Client to subsequently continue his education at the University.
Title IX Investigations/Violations Defense
Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sex for schools and programs that receive federal funding. This includes protection from sexual harassment, sexual assault and other forms of sexual misconduct. See 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681–1688.
But what happens when Title IX enforcement is taken too far? In recent years, this has been an ongoing debate throughout our country.
Naturally, a student who is found responsible for sexual misconduct or a related Title IX violation can be expelled and/or suspended from the university, even without the filing of criminal charges. Oftentimes, though, Title IX investigations by Universities and sexual assault investigations by local law enforcement, occur simultaneously.
However, even based upon allegations alone, a school can order an accused student to transfer dorm rooms, change his or her class schedule, and even change his or her work schedule or job all together (if employed by the university). Even these less severe interim measures or sanctions may result in collateral consequences such as the loss of scholarships or stipends from university or third-party donors.
At ZLM, we believe that due process exists for a reason and we are committed to protecting and preserving our student-clients’ due process rights throughout Title IX investigations by university officials and/or criminal investigations by law enforcement, alike. Although students involved in institutional hearings do not have their liberty at stake, the outcome of the proceeding, especially where there is a finding of misconduct, will result in extremely significant, life altering changes for the student.
Because these consequences can become extremely severe, it is vital that you choose your legal representation wisely. The attorneys at ZLM understand that Title IX accusations are rarely black and white. There are two sides to every story, and we want to hear yours. After sitting down to discuss your case, we can determine the best way to move forward and ensure your due process rights are not violated during the complex, Title IX investigation and/or hearing process.
ZLM’s aggressive defense of our clients against allegations of Title IX violations starts immediately. We thoroughly investigate the facts of every case to obtain any and all favorable evidence available in defense of our clients. ZDL’s lawyers know that being proactive and aggressive is essential when faced with a Title IX accusation. Oftentimes we engage private investigators to track down leads and interview witnesses, ever before any formal allegations are made against our clients.
Don’t take any chances with a Title IX accusation. Contact Zukerman, Lear & Murray Co., L.P.A. and put our decades of experience on your side today.