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Miami University Archives

Another Topic for "The Sex Talk"

The Cincinnati Enquirer recently published a well-sourced piece on campus sexual assaults (often referred to as Title IX cases) titled "The Sex Talk: The conversation that is not happening about campus sexual assault." As a Title IX Lawyer, I appreciate the attention that the authors of the Enquirer article and its participants brought to the many issues surrounding Title IX cases. One area that could have used more attention in the Enquirer piece, however, is how to handle cases where both parties are equally intoxicated, and where neither party alleges that the other party used force, threat of force, or purposeful incapacitation (i.e. attempt to drug/over-intoxicate the other party). Some might call this the *consensual* "drunken hookup." Solving the puzzle regarding the *consensual* drunken hookup is at the heart of creating a fair and constitutional Title IX process. 

Urban Meyer & Title IX Part 1: The Duty to Report

The college football world was rocked yesterday with the report that Ohio State Football Coach Urban Meyer has been put on paid leave pending an investigation into alleged domestic violence by one of his (now former) assistant coaches. Mr. Meyer is not alleged to have committed domestic violence, so you may be wondering how this story may implicate him. The answer lies in the school's Title IX Policy, and in particular the Title IX language in Mr. Meyer's new contract that he signed in April 2018. 

But it's my prescribed medication...

Miami University Code of Student Conduct ("the Code") prohibits the "use, offer for sale, sale, distribution, possession, or manufacture of any controlled substance or drug except as expressly permitted by law is prohibited. The use, offer for sale, sale, distribution, possession, or manufacture of chemicals, products, or materials for the purpose of use as an intoxicant except as expressly permitted by law is also prohibited." (Code 106(A)).

Title IX: When The Defender Becomes The Attacker

In recent years, Title IX-an act designed to prohibit discrimination based on sex-has, ironically, been used to facilitate sex-based discrimination on college campuses. "Title IX" refers to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 which states:

Does it help that I'm "a good kid" when I'm charged with a crime?

Many college students that are charged with criminal offenses are quick to point out the highlights of their resume when they first meet with me: a high GPA, a clean record, community service, and a professional aspiration that simply cannot tolerate a criminal conviction. It seems like these accomplishments must count for something in reducing the student's criminal or university sanction. Do they? The answer is generally yes, but with some caveats.

Understanding the Miami University Two/Three Strike Policy

I frequently get calls from individuals facing mandatory suspension at Miami University because they have accumulated "two strikes" or "three strikes" depending on the situation. By this, students are referring to Miami's policy whereby if a student receives two intoxication offenses, three alcohol-related offenses, or two dishonesty offenses, the student must be suspended for at least one semester. Students and parents often do not understand what does and does not qualify as a "strike," and they are further taken aback by the harshness of the sanctions. Unfortunately, I am not able to tell you that Miami's policy is less harsh than it sounds, but I am able to help clarify which situations should concern students and parents, before reviewing some preventative steps.

The Implications of John Doe v. Miami University et. al. (2008) for the Accused, Part 3: Notice and Access to Evidence

In addition to the novel interpretations of the law laid out in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, the Court also reaffirmed the importance of the accused's right to notice of the charges and access to the evidence in University Title IX Hearings. These rights seem so obvious and fundamental, but believe it or not the Court's affirmance of these rights is significant given past deprivations that the accused have faced.

The Implications of John Doe v. Miami University et. al. (2008) for the Accused, Part 2: Erroneous Outcome

When students and their families tell me that they "want to sue" after being found responsible for sexual assault at a University Hearing, they generally believe that the court can be used as a sort of "super appeals court" to have their hearing redecided on the merits; generally this is precisely what the courts will not do, but the recent John Doe v. Miami University decision has given some life to this use of the courts to challenge Title IX sexual assault cases (if you are not familiar with the facts of this case, see Part 1 of this series). The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has said that if an accused can show "'(1) "facts sufficient to cast some articulable doubt on the accuracy of the outcome of the disciplinary proceeding" and (2) a "particularized . . . causal connection between the flawed outcome and gender bias,"'" then the accused can challenge the outcome in court with an "erroneous outcome" claim.

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