Title IX Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct (Respondents)

Defending Students Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Sexual assault and harassment at colleges and universities has been a major issue on campuses across the country and in the news media. This type of allegation is extremely serious and requires a strong response. Our experienced Title IX lawyers have successfully represented students who are accused of sexual harassment or assault in campus disciplinary proceedings. Since 2013, we have represented more than 200 students, staff, and faculty in Title IX cases at more than 85 schools across the country.

We also represent complainants in gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual assault cases at schools and universities. Learn more here.

Eminently Qualified to Represent You

Our Massachusetts legal team brings to bear the background, skills, and expertise needed to help you navigate your school’s disciplinary and appeals processes, and advocate for your right to fair treatment. We offer the following qualifications:

  • Thought leaders in the area of Title IX, routinely writing and speaking on issues related to campus sexual assault adjudication.
  • Abreast of the rapidly changing landscape in this area, considering ever-changing federal guidance and judicial decisions outlining what these processes should look like.
  • Deep understanding of the numerous laws and regulations that bear on these charges, including Title IX (the federal law requiring gender equality in education), the Clery Act (the federal law requiring colleges and universities to report their crime statistics and their prevention and discipline policies), constitutional due process rights in the case of public universities, and contractual rights of students in private universities.
  • Intimately familiar with the campus disciplinary process and many of the independent investigators and attorneys that schools use.
  • Accustomed to handling both criminal and university matters simultaneously, working to achieve the best possible results in both arenas.
  • Well-positioned to litigate against universities on behalf of students accused of sexual assault.

We rapidly evaluate a situation and develop an effective defense strategy, coordinate a prompt and thorough investigation of relevant evidence, and, when necessary, identify and retain expert witnesses to find and present weaknesses in the school’s evidence. As appropriate, we engage with the school’s attorneys to ensure that your rights are being protected during the disciplinary process. Because we are also highly experienced criminal defense lawyers, we are vigilant to protect your rights and guard against jeopardizing the defense of potential criminal prosecutions.

A Winning Record That Speaks Volumes

Our Title IX lawyers have achieved significant victories in campus sexual harassment and assault cases. Representative examples include:

  • In a case involving a graduate student who was accused of rape by his ex-girlfriend who filed a Title IX complaint and also sought criminal charges and a civil restraining order against him, we represented him in his school proceeding where he was exonerated of the rape charge, and assisted his local attorneys in their representation of him in the criminal and civil matters.
  • In a case where another student’s ex-girlfriend accused him of rape, our attorneys helped him draft his written submissions to the school conduct board and prepared him for his hearing, where he was exonerated of the rape charge.
  • In a case where both our client and another student accused one another of non-consensual sexual contact, we obtained a decision that our client was not responsible, and successfully defended that decision on appeal.
  • We also represented an undergraduate student accused of rape and acts of violence where the complainant sought to have him expelled from the university. After a lengthy student conduct board hearing, we prevented the expulsion.
  • In a case where our client was accused of sexual exploitation, we negotiated with the school to allow our client to withdraw rather than face disciplinary sanctions.
  • On appeal, our lawyers helped a client reverse a finding that he had harassed another student.
  • On appeal, our lawyers helped a client found responsible for sexual exploitation reduce her sanction from a suspension to probation.
  • In a case involving drugs, alcohol, and cross-complaints by both parties, our lawyers helped a client prevail and be found not responsible for sexual misconduct.
  • In a case where the complainant made illegal recordings of our client, our lawyers successfully had the illegally-obtained evidence excluded from the adjudication, and, using the testimony of a medical expert on alcohol-induced blackouts, our client was found not responsible for sexual misconduct.
Your Trusted Advocates

If you have been accused of sexual assault or harassment and are facing disciplinary action by your school, or if you have already been subjected to discipline for allegedly violating the school’s sexual misconduct policy, please contact us at 617-742-6020 or complete our contact form.

Super Lawyers
Martindale-Hubbell - AV Preeminent - Peer Rated For Highest Level Of Professional Excellence 2020
Recognized by Best Lawyers 2020
Best Lawyers - Best Law Firms 2020
Client Reviews
★★★★★
I hired Mr. Duncan to deal with a very sensitive issue that my daughter had. Since the first contact, I had a very good impression of him. He transmitted confidence and appeared to know exactly what to do. I called and emailed him many times, he was polite and comprehensible with the anxiety of a father and appeared to know every step to solve the case. I strongly recommend Mr. Duncan. Flavio Lajoia
★★★★★
If you are reading this review, it means either you or a family member is in trouble and needs immediate legal counsel. Please know your search can end right now because Zalkind, Duncan & Bernstein is the law firm to hire. They are honest, responsive, compassionate and have the experience and expertise to bring... Client
★★★★★
I contacted Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein to assist with a Title IX case. From our initial conversation, Naomi Shatz had a strong understanding of Title IX policies and conducted each step of the process with professionalism, honesty and a responsiveness that did not disappoint. Ms. Shatz displayed confidence and just as important, compassion when needed. Client
★★★★★
I worked with Emma Quinn-Judge and Monica Shah. And from my first contact on the phone, on to my first meeting in their office and during the trial, I found them and the firm's entire team to be a group of consummate legal professionals who are very knowledgeable, patient, dedicated, fair, honest and caring... Chantal C.
★★★★★
I am forever grateful to all the staff at this firm, but in particular, Ms. Shah, Mr. Zalkind and Mr. Silverglate. They represented my son who was being sought for extradition to Scotland. The case took years to fight, covering new legal ground, setting precedence. But each one of these legal eagles went above and beyond the duty of office... Suzanne D.