New regulations for on-campus sexual assault claims have been released by the U.S. Department of Education under Title IX, the law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally-funded schools. Colleges and universities covered by this law must comply with the new regulations by August 14, 2020. The new rules ensure due process for both complainant and accused, and unlike previously issued guidance by the past administration, these will have the force of law as a foundation.

Title IX, signed into law by President Nixon in 1972, was created to protect students and employees from sex-based discrimination. The new regulations are an expansion of this law that details how schools must handle on-campus sexual assault claims, providing guidance for investigating and hearing cases within the school.

One important feature to note is the process called ‘live hearings.’ In a live hearing, both parties can ask questions (through an advisor or an attorney), provide evidence, present witnesses, and do a cross-examination, as in an actual court proceeding. In place of a judge, a decision-maker (a trained Title IX personnel or facilitator) will determine the outcome. While many contend that this process might make it harder for harassment survivors to file a complaint, the proponents of the law view it as a necessary procedure to ensure that those wrongly accused would be protected, and those responsible will receive appropriate action.

Schools can choose to offer informal resolution by mediation as an alternative way of handling a case, provided that both parties have given their voluntary, written consent, and that the accused is not a school employee. Schools cannot force students and employees to waive their right to a formal investigation as a condition for enrollment or employment.

What sets these new regulations apart from previously issued guidance is their enforceability, as they are backed by the force of law. This means that schools are obliged to comply, and students and employees can expect that their rights will be protected. While some still contest the fairness of the new rules, many view it as a step in the right direction.

Related: What amounts to sexual misconduct under Title IX?

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.