Justin Dillon Discusses Title IX Issues before the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
On July 27th, 2018, Partner Justin Dillon spoke to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Miami about Title IX issues. Along with Ohio-based attorney Susan Stone of Kohrman Jackson Krantz, Mr. Dillon addressed what criminal defense lawyers should know about Title IX work.
Some criminal defense practitioners, he told the audience, tend to take a one-size-fits-all approach to their campus cases. But what works in a criminal courtroom, he said, does not necessarily work in on a college campus. In a criminal courtroom, for example, a defendant receives all of the rights owed him by the U.S. Constitution—he can cross-examine the witnesses against him, subpoena evidence, and request a full-blown trial. But the U.S. Constitution doesn’t apply to private schools. At a private school, the only rights to which an accused student is entitled are whatever the Education Department requires (which is very little) and whatever rights the school chooses to give him (which also tends to be very little). Knowing how to operate effectively within the confines of such a system is crucial for anyone who defends Title IX cases.
Mr. Dillon also discussed the pros and cons of hiring a private investigator to assist with the case. Although they can sometimes be useful, he warned that they can also scare off nervous witnesses and, if they’re too aggressive, do things that could result in a retaliation complaint against the accused.
Finding creative ways to seek out and preserve evidence is also important, given that students in Title IX cases lack subpoena power. Text messages, Facebook posts, and Tweets are often fertile ground for the defense in these cases, and knowing how to obtain such evidence is often key.