Contact Us

Menu Close


Title IX and Student Misconduct Inquiries 

(212) 946- 4963

Ask for Attorney Patrick Saccocio


Emergency Title IX and Student Misconduct Assistance

(737) 226 - 2113

Ask for Attorney Patrick Saccocio

What is Title IX?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity (Source: U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Civil Rights (2015) Title IX and Sex Discrimination).

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 requires every school to investigate claims of sexual misconduct including sexual assault and sexual harassment against students. The stakes are high for the student facing discipline for misconduct. They include dismissal from the institution, interruption of the students’ course of study and/or conditions placed upon the accused student, not to mention the stigma and reputational harm associated with a finding of guilt. In addition, there is the interaction that often occurs between the student disciplinary investigation and a criminal investigation or prosecution. Students need to be advised and counseled about the consequences connected with their participation or non-participation in the university or college Title IX investigatory process.

Should I Contact A Lawyer If I Am Accused of Campus Misconduct Involving Sexual Assault or Domestic Violence?

Yes.  If you are accused of this conduct, both to protect your educational status and to protect yourself in any parallel criminal investigation or prosecution you should contact a lawyer immediately.

What Kind of Lawyer Should I Contact?

Contact a lawyer admitted to practice law in the state or jurisdiction where your school is located.  Contact a lawyer who understands Title IX and VAWA and the rules and procedures of your school.  It would also be helpful if that attorney is experienced in the criminal representation of persons charged with assaultive offense.  (How Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC can help you.)

Why Do Colleges and Universities Investigate Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault?

Under Title IX schools (if they wish to retain federal funding) are required to conduct an investigation into any allegation of sexual harassment, including sexual assault, that occur in their programs and activities wherever they occur (in some cases this involves off campus locations).

What Due Process Protections Am I Afforded If I Am Charged with Campus Misconduct Involving Sexual Assault?

Not a lot or none at all.  Whatever “due process” that is afforded does not remotely compare to the due process protections provided to persons accused of the same conduct in criminal courts.  Public universities must provide some due process protections.  Private colleges and universities are only obligated to provide the “process” promised in their student disciplinary guidelines.

Title IX disciplinary matters are sensitive and can put the accused student in a frightening and confusing situation. Criminal investigations or prosecutions often accompany Title IX cases making things more complicated. While defendants in criminal proceedings have certain rights, these same rights do not exist for students being accused of campus misconduct. In addition, each college and university has its own set of “rules” by which these investigations are handled. There is also a legal difference between the rights ensured to students at state sponsored colleges/universities and those who attend private institutions.

What Is the Standard of Proof that Colleges and Universities Apply to Their Investigations and Determinations of Sexual Assault Claims? How Does that Compare to the Standard of Proof in Criminal Cases?

The standard of proof applied by colleges and universities in Title IX investigations is “Preponderance of the Evidence”.  This is one of the lowest standards of proof (i.e. the greater weight of the evidence).  The standard of proof applied in criminal cases is proof “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt”.  This is the highest burden of proof (i.e. no other logical explanation can be derived from the evidence except the defendant’s guilt).

What is the Violence Against Women Act?

The Violence Against Women Act, also known as VAWA, is an amendment to the Clery Act (which, among other things requires the disclosure of campus security policies and campus crime statistics).  VAWA prescribes standards for the investigation and conduct of student discipline proceedings in domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking cases.

What are the Differences Between Title IX and VAWA?

There are substantial differences between the two Acts.  Title IX is geared towards the elimination of gender inequality in educational settings while Clery/VAWA is primarily an Act focused upon crime statistic reporting.  There is significant overlap however.  One critical distinction in the areas of overlap is that VAWA moves beyond Title IX (at least as interpreted by Office of Civil Rights guidance documents) and expands a college or university’s obligation to investigate beyond sexual harassment/assault and into allegations of domestic violence and dating violence.  It is easy to suppose that Title IX rules apply to investigations brought under the auspices of VAWA.  They do not.  For example, while Title IX, as interpreted by current OCR guidance letters requires the use of a “Preponderance of the Evidence” standard, VAWA does not prescribe an evidentiary standard.  This could prove to be a critical difference if a school chooses to elevate their standard of proof in domestic/dating violence cases.

How Can I Contact Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC?

For all Title IX and Student Misconduct Inquiries, please call (212) 946 - 4963.  If you need emergency assistance with these matters, please call (737) 226 - 2113.  You may also email to schedule a free case evaluation. (Visit our Title IX page for more information about our Title IX Services.)

What Fees Do You Charge?

For most cases we charge a base flat fee.  The base fee depends upon the seriousness of the offense charged and the procedures afforded by your school (e.g.  some schools afford hearings, some do not). To obtain a quote, contact our office.

For More Information About Our Title IX Legal Services Visit Our Title IX Law Page.

To Learn More About Title IX and Student Misconduct, Visit Our Blog "Title IX Today"


Our attorneys focus on your needs, and we will use our experience, creativity and dedication to make sure you get the justice you deserve. Share your case with us now for a free consultation.


376 Broadway
2nd Floor
Schenectady, NY 12305
(518) 377- 9096

112 W. 34th Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10120
(212) 946 – 4963

401 Congress Avenue
Suite 1540
Austin, TX 78701
(737) 226 - 2113

60 E. Rio Salado Parkway
Suite 900
Tempe, AZ 85281
(855) 257- 7115

100 Wilshire Blvd.
Suite 700
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(855) 257- 7115

6203 San Ignacio Avenue
Suite 110
San Jose, CA 95119
(855) 257- 7115

Title IX, Student Misconduct, and Bullying Inquiries
Attorney Patrick J. Saccocio, Esq.
(212) 946- 4963

Emergency Title IX, Student Misconduct, and Bullying Assistance
Attorney Patrick J. Saccocio, Esq.
(737) 226 - 2113

Free Case Evaluation