Goetz & Eckland represents accused college students in higher-education disciplinary hearings. In 2011, the Department of Education advised all federally funded colleges and universities that they must investigate and take action on allegations of sexual assault. In the past year, Title IX sexual assault hearings have garnered major national and local media attention. In a Title IX hearing, a college or university attempts to prosecute a student for violation of the school’s code of conduct pertaining to sexual harassment.
At Goetz & Eckland, we have the ability to parse through each unique school’s student code and case specific facts, to represent an accused student’s interests. Going into a Title IX hearing, the accused student is almost always at an extreme disadvantage. In most situations, the accused student has no opportunity to even present a defense until the school’s investigation and recommendation for discipline have already been completed. Only then does the student have the opportunity to request a hearing. On top of that, the standard of proof at a Title IX hearing is lower than a criminal trial. The school must prove “more likely than not” that a sexual assault occurred. In a comparable criminal trial, the government must prove its case “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Because of this, it is imperative that the accused student act swiftly to retain experienced counsel to represent the student’s interests.
We are doing every day what we set out to do—to make a positive difference in the lives of our clients. We work closely with our client to make sure we understand how we can best help them. We are practical lawyers who heavily invest ourselves in the outcome of our clients' cases.