Los Angeles Title IX Lawyers
Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972 is a federal law prohibiting gender discrimination against students and employees of educational institutions. Specifically, Title IX provides that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
Originally designed to provide equal access to facilities for all students, Title IX has been expanded to make sexual misconduct by students a form of discrimination. Title IX compels schools and colleges to investigate and punish students for acts of sexual misconduct, but school officials are often not trained or qualified to handle these types of cases.
Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP is a world-renowned law firm that has successfully defended clients in high-profile cases involving business leaders, celebrities, politicians, and members of royal families. We have been featured on ABC News, the BBC, CNBC, Fox News, Esquire, and the Los Angeles Times.
False accusations of sexual misconduct can ruin a person’s life. If you or a loved one has been accused of sexual misconduct by a school or college, it’s essential to have an experienced Title IX attorney by your side. Our attorneys have significant knowledge of disciplinary procedures and the rights to which students are entitled. We have guided accused students through all phases of disciplinary proceedings, commencing from the school’s investigation all the way through proceedings before the superior court.
Call Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP at (213) 688-0460 to learn more today.
Our office is conveniently located near the Financial District, Bunker Hill, and Angels Flight Railway.
In recent years, Title IX cases have been shrouded in controversy due to the injustices endured by those accused of sexual assault on college campuses. Oftentimes, the educational institution will conduct an internal Title IX investigation and disciplinary hearing, routinely finding the accused student responsible for committing sexual misconduct without providing that accused student a fair hearing in accordance with the law.
According to the Atlantic Monthly, Title IX has led to the creation of a “parallel justice system” where students accused of sexual misconduct “are not always assured of due process.” In fact, schools are permitted to “act as detective, prosecutor, judge and jury.”
In many cases, students accused of sexual misconduct have been suspended or expelled from school without being able to adequately defend themselves. The accused are often “convicted” in an unfair process where there are no open hearings, and they are unable to refute the charges.
Under Title IX, students have suffered the following consequences without receiving the due process rights guaranteed to every citizen by the United States Constitution:
- Labeled a sex offender
- Damaged career prospects
- Damaged reputation
- Feeling isolated from peers
- Limited opportunity to attend another college
- Undergo more than a year of hearings and investigation
What Is the Clery Act, and How Does It Impact Title IX Sexual Misconduct Hearings?
In 1990, Congress passed the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act), requiring colleges and universities that receive federal funding to distribute an annual security report (ASR) to employees and students. The report must include statistics regarding crimes committed during the previous three years on and near campus and in buildings and property owned or controlled by student organizations recognized by the university. The report must also include details about efforts that are being made by the school to improve campus safety.
The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWR) of 2013 requires campuses to include sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking in ASRs. The Clery Act requires campuses to record all reported crimes in a Daily Crime Log that’s available to the public, which includes the date of the crime and the general location where it occurred. The Clery Act does not require colleges or universities that receive reports of campus crime to initiate investigations.
How Is Legal Consent Defined in a Title IX Sexual Misconduct Hearing?
Consent is defined as a knowingly and voluntarily communicated willingness to participate in a particular sexual activity or behavior. A person must have the ability and capacity to exercise free will and make a rational, reasonable judgment in order to give consent. Consent may be expressed by words or actions. It is the responsibility of a student who wishes to engage in sexual activity to ensure that the other party has provided consent. Silence or a lack of protest or resistance may not be interpreted as consent. Previous relationships and past sexual encounters do not imply consent to future sex acts.
A student whose decision-making ability is impaired by sleep, unconsciousness, involuntary physical restraint, permanent mental or physical disability, or the influence of alcohol, drugs, medication, or other substances may be deemed unable to provide consent for sexual activity.
What Rights Do Students Have When They Have Been Accused of Sexual Misconduct Under Title IX?
Title IX sexual misconduct policies strongly favor the rights of the accuser over the rights of the accused. But everyone is due the following constitutional rights no matter what university officials say or do:
- To choose and retain legal representation
- To be promptly notified of all investigations
- To receive an impartial hearing
- To receive a prompt investigation and lawful resolution
- To review any report before it is finalized
- To be treated with respect and dignity throughout the process
- To be granted the highest level of privacy and confidentiality permitted by law
- To present evidence and witnesses to defend yourself
- To appeal any finding or sanctions issued by the college or university
What Additional Challenges Do International Students Face When Charged with Sexual Misconduct Under Title IX?
Language barriers, lack of familiarity with American customs, and xenophobia increase the difficulties faced by foreign students under investigation for misconduct based on Title IX. International students risk losing their visas if their scheduled classes drop below a full-time course load.
It is recommended that Title IX investigations and proceedings be completed in 60 days, but the process often takes much longer. It is difficult for a foreign student to maintain a full-time course load while under the strain of an investigation. If an international student is found responsible for campus sexual misconduct, they will either be suspended or expelled, and this makes it difficult or impossible for the student to maintain their visa.
Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP represents students accused by their educational institution of engaging in misconduct. Our experienced trial attorneys will vigorously defend you or your loved one and take every legal action to ensure that the legal process is conducted in a fair and equitable manner.
Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP is recognized by Super Lawyers for providing our clients with outstanding service, and we have an AV Rating from Martindale-Hubbell. Firm partner Alan Jackson has tried more than 85 cases to jury verdict with a career success rate of 96 percent.
Call (213) 688-0460 to schedule a case review today.
Recent Case Results
- Complete Dismissal of Molestation Charges
Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
- Decision Set Aside
Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
- Probation with No Jail Time for Drug Money Laundering Charge
Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.