“As attorneys, we have been approached by dozens of students from schools across the nation facing disciplinary proceedings. Most of these matters have been resolved quietly; some have led to litigation. What they all have in common is that the students believe that the procedures did not afford them fundamental fairness.” — Joshua Adam Engel, March 2015 issue of Fraternal Law.
Too often, students who are accused of serious misconduct in a student disciplinary proceeding assume that the school just wants to “find out the truth.” These students assume that if they just tell an administrator what happened, everything will work out fine.
This is a big risk.
Students can be expelled or suspended based on rumor, innuendo, and hearsay. Disciplinary findings can appear on a transcript and can lead to difficulty in enrolling in graduate programs.
Engel & Martin, LLC, has successfully advised students at numerous schools across the country, ranging from Oregon to New York. Our attorneys spend time studying the rules and meeting with the administrators. More importantly, as former prosecutors our attorneys uniquely combine experience in three areas: civil rights, Title IX litigation, and criminal defense.
Engel and Martin, LLC has represented a significant number of students in both school disciplinary investigations and school disciplinary proceedings. Many of these cases are resolved quietly and favorably. Some, however, have required a school hearing or, even, litigation to protect the rights of students.
The goal is to resolve all Title IX investigations with a “Not Responsible” finding. Essential to obtaining this result is the knowledge by schools that Engel & Martin isn’t afraid to challenge schools in court and has filed lawsuits or assisted with litigation challenging student disciplinary procedures in Ohio, Texas, New York, Kentucky, and other states.
The rules for campus disciplinary hearings are typically set out in your student handbook. These rules often differ depending on the type of case — Title IX, non-academic misconduct, or academic issues. Importantly, you do not always have the same rights during a campus disciplinary hearing as you would in a courtroom:
To protect the rights that you are afforded, it is vital that you consult with a campus disciplinary hearing attorney as soon as possible after learning about an investigation into you.
Possibly. Depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to file a lawsuit against your college or university after an investigation and campus disciplinary hearing. This type of lawsuit may be based on breach of contract or for public schools, a lack of due process. Following Title IX hearings, you may also be able to allege that the school reached an erroneous outcome or selectively enforced its rules based on gender.
A Title IX lawsuit can be expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally exhausting. A Title IX litigation lawyer can help you decide if pursuing a legal claim is the right option for you.
Title IX Investigators work for the school, not students accused of misconduct, and they often can’t provide advice. In other words, they are not on your side! There are pros and cons of talking to Title IX investigators at your school. Many students worry that if they talk to an investigator, whatever they say could be used against them in a campus disciplinary hearing or, even, a criminal prosecution. At the same time, some schools have a rule that if you refuse to cooperate, that may result in a suspension or other disciplinary action.
In this situation, the best course of action is to reach out to an experienced Title IX attorney before giving a statement. They can advise you of your rights, and help you make a decision that protects both your educational future and your freedom.
Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education. This law has been interpreted to protect students against sexual harassment, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence, all of which are considered forms of sex discrimination. The exact definition of intimate partner violence varies by school but typically includes domestic violence.
If your significant other has filed a complaint with the school, alleging that you abused them, then you could be facing a range of sanctions – including possible expulsion or, even, criminal prosecution. For this reason, it is important that you reach out to an experienced campus disciplinary hearing attorney as soon as possible to protect your interests.
Issues relating to academic integrity are often based on a school’s honor code. If you are accused of violating this code in some way – such as by plagiarizing someone else’s work – it could have a serious impact on your academic and professional career. If you are found to have cheated following a campus disciplinary hearing, then you may be required to disclose this to other educational institutions, future employers, and even professional licensing boards.
A skilled campus disciplinary hearing attorney can often put together a factual and legal defense to the allegations against you. This may preserve your ability to remain at your school or to move forward to another school and on with your life after an allegation of cheating.
The first step in responding to any allegation of sexual assault is to conduct a full and complete investigation. This may include work by trained former law enforcement officers. In many cases, a polygraph examination is a useful tool. A good investigation can be used to clear a students’ name quickly and may avoid further disciplinary proceedings.
Engel & Martin, LLC has represented and advised students in multiple states and has been recognized as one of the leading firms in this field. Students with questions should contact Joshua Adam Engel or Anne Tamashasky at 513-445-9600 or by email.