Satawa Law recently has won another Title IX hearing, as the office for title 9 and institutional equity at University in Western Michigan “unanimously determined that the preponderance of evidence does not support a finding that the responded engaged in sexual assault or sexual harassment.”Read More

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 Satawa Law, PLLC

Michigan Title IX Disciplinary Hearings Attorney

Campus sexual assault is a real problem. Those who have been sexually assaulted deserve a hearing that will guarantee their safety and ability to stay in school. To address this, the federal government passed Title IX under the Education Amendments of 1972 to protect students at colleges and universities from sexual harassment and any unlawful retaliation that might follow a report of assault. Victims of harassment and assault can report the incident to their educational institution, which will open an investigation on campus. They also have the right to file a report with the police to open a criminal investigation.

In addition to protecting the accusers, Title IX also grants the right of due process—or fair and equitable treatment—to students or employees accused of sexual assault on campus. Those falsely accused of committing sexual assault deserve the right to a fair hearing where they have a real opportunity to challenge the allegations and clear their name.

At Satawa Law, Title IX defense attorney Mark Satawa provides expert legal representation to those who are facing sexual assault allegations on campus here in the state of Michigan. If you’ve been accused of such a crime, you need an attorney with experience handling Title IX disciplinary hearings—they are not the same as sex crime cases in a court of law and should be prepared with key legal differences in mind by a knowledgeable professional.

Title IX and Due Process

Student disciplinary hearings for claims of campus sexual assault are not new. In the typical Title IX case, a student accuses another student of a form of sexual assault often referred to as “date rape” following a date or a night of drinking at the bar. Under traditional Title IX hearing rules, the accused students would receive almost no due process. Differently from a criminal case prosecuted in a court of law, a Title IX case is an administrative matter that can negatively affect a student’s educational record and enrollment status within the academic institution if they’re found responsible for the offense. The accused does not have the right to remain silent and faces lower burdens of proof, as well. If the case does move to criminal court, the accused can also face penalty of imprisonment and sex offender status.

Without due process, students can be suspended or expelled without any ability to defend themselves. Recently, in the wake of the #metoo movement, restrictions on basic due process rights during campus disciplinary hearings increased. Students were frequently sanctioned, suspended, forced to live off campus, and expelled without these basic rights. At the very least, due process should include the right to cross-examine the accuser and any witnesses, be notified of allegations, attend a live hearing, have a student advisor or attorney present, appeal the decision, and be held to a pre-established standard of proof.

The pendulum is swinging back and forth on these hearings. On the one hand, a federal district court ruled recently that Michigan State University can temporarily suspend a student accused of campus sexual assault pending his Title IX hearing. Rob Kent, the new director of MSU’s Title IX hearings, recently announced sweeping new changes in the university’s hearing policies. The hearings will take place electronically, and representatives, rather than the people directly involved in the complaints, will pose questions. “Nobody’s actually going to have to confront the person through the cross-examination,” Kent said. Expect an appeal to the Sixth Circuit, as this seems to run contrary to the Sixth Circuit ruling last year on a case out of the University of Michigan that mandated that colleges and universities are required to provide due process rights to students in any Title IX hearing.

In that previous case, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held in 2018 that the University of Michigan, and all colleges, must protect the due process rights of their students in these hearings by allowing rights such as cross-examination in a live hearing. Accused students, most of whom have been expelled, continue to win lawsuits in federal court against colleges, demanding due process from schools before they can be expelled or sanctioned. Sexual assault is a terrible thing, but as high-profile cases like Duke LAX have frequently proven, false allegations are terrible, as well. And basic due process with a fair hearing is critically important to avoiding injustice – to both sides. These rights serve an important check against false accusations and prevent innocent students from being suspended or expelled. The Title IX saga will continue, and it appears that more litigation will be required before all of these rules and requirements are flushed out and finalized.

If you find yourself falsely accused of a campus sexual assault in a Title IX hearing, do not leave your education or your future to chance. Without clear legislation in place, each college campus and university can interpret due process and handle their investigations differently. Demand that your rights be protected with an experienced Title IX disciplinary hearings attorney by your side here in Southfield, MI.

Satawa Law – Defending your rights, protecting your future

At Satawa Law, we understand the life-changing nature of these types of allegations. We never judge or assume; rather, we immediately strategize the best way to protect the accused person’s rights of due process and bring a favorable resolution to their case. We do that while providing our clients with the empathetic and compassionate guidance they need to get through this difficult time.

At Satawa Law, we offer a confidential consultation with our Title IX defense lawyer for campus sex assault cases at no obligation to you. We have extensive experience representing students and employees before panels of administrators responsible for determining the outcome of a campus investigation.

Should your case move into criminal court, we rely on our expertise to offer you a relentless, effective and well-thought-out defense, which is critical to the success of your case. We have won the majority of the many cases we’ve defended at trial, and we’re not afraid to take on prosecutors.

The Best Defense Strategy Is an Aggressive Offense

Because we prepare every case extensively from the very beginning of our representation, we can offer persuasive rebuttals to any allegations brought by the prosecution. We have developed a multi-disciplinary approach that uses a team of professionals (psychologists, lawyers, trial consultants, investigators, and jury consultants) to investigate and prepare our defense and our client for trial. We employ mock trials and practice direct and cross examinations, focus groups, and client reenactments, as well as interview every possible witness to leave no trial stone unturned, all to put your case in the best position to be won.

We demand fair and equitable treatment by the justice system for those who’ve been falsely accused of a crime. We defend your rights and protect your future.

Speak With Us & Request a Confidential Consultation

Do not wait for the campus investigators, the police, or prosecutors to make the first move. Speak with our Southfield, MI, defense team now, and allow us to put our knowledge, skill, and expertise to good use. Michigan sex crimes lawyer Mark Satawa and his team are proud to bring unparalleled legal representation to clients in Southfield, Oakland County, metro Detroit, and the entire State of Michigan.

Protect your right to due process. Call our experienced Title IX victim lawyer at Satawa Law today for your complimentary, confidential, 30-minute strategy session about your case.

Mark Satawa

Call Today For Your Free Case Strategy Session
(248) 509-0056