Miltenberg: “Away from School: New Title IX Regulations Expected to Make Sanctions More Restorative than Punitive,” Legal News


Andrew Miltenberg spent his morning on the phone with a Princeton University father. His son had been accused of sexual assault—wrongly, he believed—and was the respondent in a Title IX matter on campus. The hearing was coming up, and the father was concerned: What if the Title IX panel, made up of school faculty, didn’t believe his son? What if his side of the story wasn’t really heard? If he’s not heard, and if he gets sanctioned, what happens to med school? It was a typical call for the Bergen County-based lawyer, whose Manhattan office handles around 75 of these cases at a time. But this isn’t a typical time, students across the state and country are off campus due to the COVID-19 health crisis, and these Title IX hearings are happening the same way as every other meeting: Zoom or conference call. “For someone who is already accused, to not be able to be in person and connect with the panel, and for the panel to not be able to seize upon certain credibility markers—nonverbal cues, things we pick up speaking to someone that help us determine if someone is or isn’t telling the truth—isn’t fair,” Miltenberg said. “Credibility is so critical, because the right to openly confront your accuser is so critical, and to hear what an accuser says about you in person, and the ability to face the person making decisions is so critical.”

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