New Title IX regulations define a process referred to as a live hearing that colleges and universities must conduct as part of sexual misconduct investigations. In a live hearing, the two parties (complainant and respondent), represented by advisors, take turns presenting evidence and asking questions to witnesses. A provision in the new regulations also allows parties to present expert witnesses.

What is an expert witness?

An expert witness is someone who has significant knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education in a field relevant to the case. They are generally called to provide an impartial, independent expert opinion based on the evidence. For example, a DNA analyst may be called to explain or analyze available DNA evidence. A medical professional may be called to explain medical imaging or physical examination results. A law-enforcement expert may be called to explain toxicology results. Multiple expert witnesses may be presented in a Title IX hearing.

What other ways can an expert witness help in a Title IX case?

An expert witness’ role in a sexual assault case can sometimes extend to:

  • Identifying the issues and arguments to be made;
  • Reviewing clinical assessments of alleged victims;
  • Helping prepare the complainant or respondent for the hearing;
  • Explaining technical information that a layperson would not be expected to fully understand

What types of expert witnesses can help in a Title IX case?

The types of expert witnesses that may be considered relevant in a sexual assault case include:

  • Medical professionals
  • Law Enforcement Experts
  • Psychologists and Psychiatrists
  • Clinical Social Workers and Counselors

(Source: The Use of Expert Witnesses in Cases Involving Sexual Assault by Kimberly Lonsway, Ph.D.)

State v. B.S.: Not Guilty Verdict in First Degree Murder Case.

In this case, our client was charged with First Degree Murder in connection with a “drive-by” shooting that occurred in Charlotte, NC. The State’s evidence included GPS ankle monitoring data linking our client was at the scene of the crime and evidence that our client confessed to an inmate while in jail. Nonetheless, we convinced a jury to unanimously find our client Not Guilty. He was released from jail the same day.

State v. S.G.: First Degree Murder Charge Dismissed.

Our client was charged with First Degree for the shooting death related to alleged breaking and entering. The State’s evidence included a co-defendant alleging that our client was the shooter. After conducting a thorough investigation with the use of a private investigator, we persuaded the State to dismiss entirely the case against our client.

State v. B.D.: First Degree Murder Charged Dismissed.

After conducting an investigation and communicating with the prosecutor about the facts and circumstances indicating that our client acted in self-defense, the case was dismissed and deemed a justifiable homicide.

State v. I.R.: Reduction from First Degree Murder to Involuntary Manslaughter and Concealment of Death..

Our client was charged with the First Degree Murder of a young lady by drug overdose. After investigating the decedent’s background and hiring a preeminent expert toxicologist to fight the State’s theory of death, we were able to negotiate this case down from Life in prison to 5 years in prison, with credit for time served.

State v. J.G.:

Our client was charged with First Degree Murder related to a “drug deal gone bad.” After engaging the services of a private investigator and noting issues with the State’s case, we were able to negotiate a plea for our client that avoided a Life sentence and required him to serve only 12 years.