Student Conduct Hearings, Suspension & Expulsion
My education defense practice focuses on defending students accused of violations of school rules or violations of their university code of conduct. My clients are generally facing suspension or expulsion at public schools, private schools and universities in Washington State. Most schools and universities have a "code of conduct," and it is generally a broadly defined code that is open to different interpretations. For instance, you can find the University of Washington's code of conduct here Title 478 WAC - University of Washington.
Campus Sexual Assault
Schools and Universities have broad authority to do as they see fit to protect students on their campus. In many situations an allegation of sexual assault may be launched by a parent or student. These allegations of sexual assault can even happen on campus, at a dorm, apartment or fraternity house. The Washington Administrative Code (WAC) and Title IX defines sexual assault as:
Getting a Fair Student Conduct Hearing
My firm has experience at every level of educational institution, from public schools and private schools to university's. I have successfully represented students accused of misconduct, academic dishonesty and sexual assault and sexual harassment. I am experienced at negotiating with school administration, in many cases it is possible get an excellent outcome before a full hearing is conducted. However, in many cases it is necessary to proceed to a full hearing.
These hearings are often conducted by school officials that are untrained in the law or investigative procedures. They see their job as "increasing accountability" and not as impartial, fair and disinterested arbitrators of justice. Having an attorney that is experienced with the rules of evidence, witness cross-examination and hearing procedures is essential to getting a fair and full hearing.
Find an attorney who is prepared to fight
In a criminal charge, the court will provide the defendant or juvenile with a public defender. However, with university or school discipline cases there is no such lawyer provided. There is also no one that is provided to fight for the students rights. There are simply employees of the school or University and they are generally not included to advocate for the student.