Title IX Attorney

Campus Sexual Assault Defense

“It is [the accused student’s]  good fortune to have as her attorney Josh Engel, whose practice is largely centered on suing universities . . . on behalf of plaintiffs who faced discipline for sexual misconduct by campus disciplinary proceedings” — The Atlantic, June 1, 2018

“You gave my life back…”  — Student Accused of Sexual Misconduct, March 2019

Engel & Martin, LLC is one of the leading firms nationally in litigating on behalf of students who have been found responsible, or ‘guilty’  in Title IX sexual misconduct disciplinary proceedings.

Title IX Investigations and Litigation

Engel & Martin, LLC represented the accused student in the landmark case of Doe v. University of Cincinnati the case establishing the right of students to cross-examine adverse witnesses in school disciplinary proceedings at public colleges and universities.

More: Engel & Martin, LLC’s Court Decisions in Student Discipline cases

Engel & Martin, LLC has successfully represented a significant number of students in lawsuits following school disciplinary proceedings. Many of these title ix cases are resolved quietly and favorably. Some, however, have required extended litigation to protect the rights of students.

More: Engel & Martin, LLC represents students in school disciplinary proceedings.

Joshua Engel on School Disciplinary Proceedings

Joshua Engel and Anne Tamashasky lead the Engel & Martin Title IX attorneys.  Engel has been featured in a number of national publications discussing Title IX issues, including  The New York Times and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

More: Joshua Engel in the Media on Title IX issues

Anne Tamashasky is a former prosecutor with significant experience handling school disciplinary proceedings.

Understanding the Background

Students need to recognize that an allegation of sexual assault does not occur in isolation. These cases arise amidst a growing national controversy about the responses of colleges and universities to sexual assaults on campuses. After years of criticism for being too lax on campus sexual assault, on April 11, 2011, the U.S. Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights sent a “ Dear Colleague” to colleges and universities. The Dear Colleague Letter indicated that, in order to comply with Title IX, colleges and Universities must have transparent, prompt procedures to investigate and resolve complaints of sexual misconduct. Most notably, the Dear Colleague Letter required schools to adopt a relatively low burden of proof— “more likely than not“—in cases involving sexual misconduct, including assault.

Joshua Engel on Title IX Hearings

Against this background, schools adopted various Sexual Misconduct Policies. While these policies often promise to provide those accused of misconduct “a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution,” the truth is often different. Schools repeatedly rush to judgment in an effort to find students “responsible” in order to “look tough.” Worse, the job of investigating and adjudicating these claims often is carried out by administrators with no experience in investigations and no knowledge of the fundamental due process rights owed to students.

The Department of Education has withdrawn the Dear Colleague Letter and proposed new regulations.  Engel was asked by the Department of Education to consult on the new regulations.

Yet, still, the hearing processes by the schools often are “ kangaroo courts” where a student is presumed to be guilty. Some of the problems we have observed include:

Panel members who are pursuing a biased political agenda instead of seeking the truth

Biased investigations, including instances where the investigator hides evidence that is helpful to the accused

The inability of students to effectively cross-examine witnesses or bring in supporting witnesses

The unwillingness of panels to consider relevant evidence

Joshua Engel on Title IX Process

More: Joshua Engel has been recognized by the news media as one of the leading attorneys representing students who have been accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment.

More:  The Implications of an adverse Title IX finding by a school.

Title IX Litigation Experience

Engel & Martin, LLC has filed lawsuits against school alleging Title IX, Due Process, Breach of Contract, and related claims against schools nationwide, including against schools in Ohio, New York, Florida, and Texas.

Engel & Martin, LLC lawyers have successfully obtained injunctions against schools seeking to expel or suspend students following hearings that denied the due process rights of students.

Our title ix attorneys obtained favorable settlements in most cases before trial, and in most instances is able to proceed without the disclosure of the student’s name.

Representing UC Football Player

Engel Representing UC Football Player

Joshua Adam Engel is representing a UC Football player charged with a misdemeanor criminal offense.

From Fox 19:

A former University of Cincinnati football player is facing charges after he threatened physical violence during an altercation with an Uber driver and passengers, according to court documents.

[The Student], 22, was arraigned Wednesday on menacing charges stemming from an incident last Friday.

Engel has been representing a UC Football player in litigation against the University arising out of a school disciplinary issue.  In that lawsuit, the player alleges that UC violated his civil rights by denying him due process in the school disciplinary process.  That matter is currently in litigation.

How Long Can a Title IX Investigation Take?

After a Title IX complaint is filed, a college, university, or school is required under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to complete a fair and thorough investigation in a prompt manner. While the length of time for this type of investigation can vary, according to prior  Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR), a typical investigation should take approximately 60 days after a complaint is filed. However, because each case is different, it may take a longer (or shorter) period of time to resolve a Title IX complaint.

What Triggers a Title IX Investigation? 

A Title IX investigation begins after an allegation of sexual misconduct — such as sexual harassment, domestic abuse, stalking, rape, and/or sexual assault — is reported to the school.  Some faculty and staff at schools are “mandatory reporters,” meaning that they are required to report any allegations of misconduct to the school’s Title IX Office even if the alleged victim does not want to pursue the matter.

The Title IX Investigation is often only the start of a long disciplinary process.  If you have been notified that you are under investigation for a Title IX violation, it is vital that you contact an Ohio Title IX lawyer as soon as possible. Campus disciplinary proceedings can lead to serious consequences – including expulsion from school. A skilled campus disciplinary hearing attorney can advocate for your rights throughout the process.

What Happens During a Title IX Investigation?

After a school receives a Title IX complaint, the investigation process begins. It typically involves five steps:

  • Notification to the parties;
  • Information gathering, including interviews with the parties and witnesses;
  • Information Review, where both parties have an opportunity to review and respond to the information gathered
  • Report Writing, Analysis, and Determination, where the investigator reviews all information and any responses submitted; and
  • Notification of Outcome of Investigation, which may include information about next steps.

Both sides are entitled to receive interim measures, such as class and housing accommodations, during the pendency of an investigation.  Following the investigation, the school may proceed to a disciplinary hearing or other adjudication.  If you have received a notice that you are under investigation, reach out to an Ohio Title IX attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will protect your rights through each stage of the process, working to ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome.

Can I Sue My School for a Title IX Violation?

Depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to file a lawsuit against your school, college, or university if they violated your rights during a Title IX investigation or campus disciplinary proceedings. An experienced Ohio Title IX lawyer can advise you on the possibility of filing a claim based on one or more legal theories, including:

  • Title IX violation for an erroneous outcome or selective enforcement of the school’s policies and procedures based on gender;
  • Breach of the contract if the school violates its policies and procedures, such as failing to conduct a prompt, thorough, and equitable investigation; and/or
  • Due process for failure to provide notice of the charges against you or to give you a meaningful opportunity to plead your case in front of a neutral decision-maker.

Someone You Can Trust When Quick Action is Necessary

Engel has been recognized as one of the leading title ix attorneys. He has presented on this issue at numerous nation forums on Title IX and related issued.

All of the attorneys at Engel & Martin, LLC are former prosecutors.  As a result, the Firm uniquely combines experience in three important fields: civil rights, school disciplinary proceedings, and criminal defense.

Students or parents with questions should contact Joshua Adam Engel at 513-445-9600 or by email.

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