Mercer University Title IX Attorney
At Mercer University, students have access to premier instructors and can participate in some of the best undergraduate research programs in the country. Additionally, Mercer is committed to equipping students with the skills to solve real-world problems that will empower them to make the world a better place, one neighborhood community at a time. With this mission in mind, it’s no wonder Mercer holds its students to high academic and behavioral standards and is quick to discipline any student who cannot meet these standards.
At Capovilla & Williams, our attorneys understand how hard you worked to get into Mercer University and how overwhelming a Title IX accusation can be. Suddenly, you must juggle work and home life with building a defense and presenting evidence and witness testimony. When this happens, the best thing you can do is contact an attorney who will help you navigate the complaint process and ensure the school does not punish you unnecessarily. Call today.
What is Title IX
According to Title IX, a federal regulation, discrimination based on sex is explicitly forbidden, and federally funded schools must follow specific steps to investigate and resolve such allegations. Sex-based discrimination includes discrimination based on pregnancy, discrimination in STEM programs and courses, failure to provide students with equal access to athletics, and sexual misconduct. At Mercer University, sexual misconduct is further defined as:
- Sexual harassment
- Domestic violence
- Dating violence
- Sexual assault
- Sexual exploitation
- Gender-based harassment
Title IX also makes it clear that if a school does not follow the steps outlined in the regulation, it will lose its federal funding. Because of this, schools tend to investigate and punish allegations even when there is little evidence to support the complaint in the first place. Title IX hearings can seriously impact your future, including getting in the way of your academic career at Mercer and beyond. Working with a skilled Title IX defense attorney throughout the process will ensure you receive the best possible outcome for your case.
The Title IX Disciplinary Process
A complaint must first be made to the Title IX Coordinator’s office. The Title IX Coordinator will then meet with the complainant to hear their side of the story concerning the alleged incident. When the meeting ends, the Coordinator will determine if the complaint includes a claim of Title IX sex-based discrimination. They will ask the complainant to file a formal complaint if it does. However, the complainant may decide not to file the formal complaint, at which point the Coordinator will do it independently.
After the formal complaint is filed, the Coordinator will choose a Title IX Investigator to meet with and interview the complainant, the victim (if different from the complainant), the accused student, and any witnesses. When the investigation is complete, the Investigator will deliver a report on their investigation to the Coordinator, who will review it and decide to either dismiss the matter or schedule the disciplinary hearing.
In addition to scheduling the hearing, the Coordinator will also pick the hearing panel. Once the hearing begins, the complainant, the university, and the accused student can present evidence and question witnesses. They will also have the chance to cross-examine the other side’s witnesses and evidence before the hearing concludes and the hearing panel determines whether the accused student is responsible.
If the hearing panel determines that, based on the evidence presented, the student is responsible for a Title IX violation, they will also decide which sanctions to impose. Whatever their decision, you have the right to appeal it.
How an Experienced Title IX Defense Law Firm Can Help
Capovilla & Williams have spent years helping students navigate Title IX hearings. They will be able to help you gather evidence and witness testimony to craft a strong defense. Call our offices today at 855-218-6432 or schedule a free consultation online.