Title IX/College Disciplinary Practice - Warshaw Burstein LLP | FAQs
FAQs
  • While you may be reluctant to consult with an attorney due to the formality or the costs, you should not underestimate the fact that your education is on the line. Ideally, you should call a college disciplinary lawyer as soon as you receive notice that you are being charged with a violation of your school's policies. The sooner you call a college disciplinary lawyer, the more time she has to help in your defense. Working with an experienced college disciplinary lawyer will prove to be a good investment in your education future.
  • You should consult with a criminal attorney if the criminal justice system has been involved in this process, and/or you are facing criminal charges. However, if your sexual assault charge is at the school level only, you will instead want to involve an attorney with experience in Title IX, education laws, and college disciplinary matters. This attorney's unique insight will provide you with the assistance you need to ensure your strongest defense.
  • Many colleges do not allow attorneys to speak throughout the process. However, an attorney's presence during the meetings, interviews and hearing process can prove vital to your defense. The attorney's observations and insight will help you develop your defense strategy. Also, much of the attorney's advocacy occurs behind-the-scenes. An experienced college disciplinary lawyer will engage in phone calls, drafting, strategy and the development of your defense.
  • In cases involving charges of sexual misconduct, there are generally no witnesses other than you and the complainant. There are still ways to present a defense, for example, based on witnesses from before and after the alleged incident. An experienced college disciplinary lawyer will understand who is necessary and relevant to your defense.
  • You should always tell the truth. However, merely telling the truth does not necessarily ensure your defense. Your college's investigator may not ask you questions that frame your answers in the best possible light or context. Also, the investigator may not take accurate or complete notes of your statements. An experienced college disciplinary lawyer will prepare you for your interviews with these factors in mind.
  • Depending on the severity of the charge, schools sometimes place interim restrictions on students who are accused of a violation of their policies. If that occurs, it is important to consult with an experienced college disciplinary lawyer to determine how reasonable the scope of the interim restriction is, and whether the standards have been met before an interim restriction has been issued.
  • In the event that you believe your school mishandled your disciplinary case, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. However, as a pre-requisite to any lawsuit, it is necessary to exhaust all of your remedies at the school level.
  • A suspension or expulsion can be damaging to your future educational and career prospects. Transferring to another school of equal caliber is unlikely to help you if you now have a tarnished education record, which is not expunged.
  • Although it may be superficially appealing to transfer to another school and "start fresh," many schools will continue to proceed with the charge(s) with or without your participation. Your failure to participate in the process will be viewed as a failure to defend the charge(s), which can often lead to a finding of "responsibility." If you are ever asked for your education records from previous schools, your record will reflect such finding(s) even though you did not participate in the process. In addition, some states require schools to mark transcripts to indicate that you withdrew while under investigation or withdrew while the charge was pending.
  • Not all schools mark a student's transcript to indicate that the student has been found responsible of a conduct violation. However, in all cases, your education record will reflect the documents related to your disciplinary process, including any unfavorable decision. Your education record is discoverable if you intend to apply to another educational institution (e.g. graduate schools, medical school, law school, etc.) or apply for certain jobs.