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Institutions that receive federal funding from the U.S. Department of Education are bound by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. To comply with this law, each school has its own policies and procedures for handling Title IX sexual misconduct complaints. Since opening the San Antonio criminal defense firm of Tylden Shaeffer, Attorney at Law, P.C. in 2000, I have offered representation to students and faculty members accused of Title IX violations. I help accused individuals put forth effective defenses tailored to the policies and procedures of the academic institutions involved.
Sexual misconduct accusations are particularly common on college and university campuses. When one student (the complainant) accuses another (the respondent) of sexual assault, sexual harassment, relationship violence, stalking or any other form of sex-based discrimination banned by Title IX, the academic institution they both attend must respect each student’s rights.
Colleges and universities are required to address any Title IX complaint related to an incident that occurred on campus or within an education program, including at parties of school-recognized fraternities and sororities. Higher-education institutions also have the power to discipline students and faculty members for sexual harassment that occurs beyond school premises. For example, the University of Texas System Board of Regents maintains a policy to address any off-campus misconduct that may substantially affect a person’s education or employment, or that poses a risk of harm to members of the university community.
Federal regulations that went into effect in August 2020 require all publicly funded colleges and universities to hold live hearings to adjudicate alleged Title IX violations. At these hearings, each student’s selected adviser — who may be a criminal defense attorney or someone else — may question the accuser and accused as well as any other relevant individuals. The accused student must be presumed innocent. A clear and convincing standard of evidence is needed to find the respondent guilty. (Prior to the 2020 guidelines, the Obama-era Title IX guidelines allowed a finding of guilt based on the “preponderance of evidence” standard, which was easier for complainants to meet.)
Each school has its own methods for dealing with Title IX investigations and hearings, and each has its own system of disciplining respondents for different offenses. Your defense should be tailored to your school’s specific policies and procedures. If you are accused of sexual misconduct and face expulsion, loss of a scholarship or any other adverse action, speak to a lawyer. I take the time to understand what you are up against and explain your options for fighting and resolving the claim. If your case is likely to be referred to a prosecutor, I will prepare to defend you against criminal charges.
Elementary schools, middle schools and high schools are also required to comply with Title IX guidelines. Accordingly, these institutions must address all complaints promptly and maintain a grievance process that treats the accuser and accused equitably. Secondary schools are not required to complete live hearings with cross-examination, and instead can make disciplinary decisions based on the results of an investigation. Because hearings are optional at the K-12 level, it may be more difficult for a respondent to push back against an accuser’s complaint.
An allegation of sexual misconduct in school can threaten a child’s prospects for college, athletic scholarships, school activities and social life. As an attorney well versed in Title IX cases, I understand how the policies of each school should shape the accused’s defense strategy.
At the office of Tylden Shaeffer, Attorney at Law, P.C. in San Antonio, I advise Texas students and school faculty members during Title IX investigations and hearings. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call (210) 227-1500 or contact me online.
"Mr Shaeffer was up front from the beginning, and I respected that. He told me they have a solid case against me. He is a very out of the box thinker, and very organized. He told me the sad reality of" - Nicoli
"I found Mr. Shaeffer to be very responsive, effective, and strategic. There was never any doubt in my mind that he had my best interest at the forefront of his efforts in handling my case." - Ron
"When you have been wrongfully accused of having an affair with a student, you must acquire legal counsel before you even speak to the police, even if you are the person who reports the rumors. Tylden Schaeffer advised me to not have a second interview with the police department and found time in his schedule to meet with me that day. After the meeting, I had a path to move forward on and that included a well written statement that Mr. Schaeffer crafted. After submitting this in lieu of a second interview with the police, there were no more problems with the school district or police department. Mr. Schaeffer did a superb job and had me resting more easily following our meetings. I would highly recommend Mr. Schaeffer to anyone in need of a Criminal Defense Attorney." - Anonymous
"Tylden has been nothing but excellent while representing me. He’s been very upfront, honest, and cooperative with not only myself, but with my family as well. I don’t just feel like a number, he treats you like if you’re his only client. I’d definitely recommend him to anybody I know if they are in need of legal help. 5 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend Tylden Shaeffer!" - Joel
"Mr Shaeffer was up front from the beginning, and I respected that. He told me they have a solid case against me. He is a very out of the box thinker, and very organized. He told me the sad reality of what could potentially be the outcome of my case, and it was dim. However he asked me what i wanted and was creative enough to deliver at an extremely affordable price. He has the knowledge to defend you, and the experience to win. I’m very happy with how he handled my case. His office is also only blocks away from the court house and he is always prompt. I don’t usually write reviews, but Mr. Tylden Shaeffer deserves to be recognized." - Nicoli
"When I got charged with my DWI I already expected to go through a long, painful process from the beginning. But, Mr. Shaeffer and his staff made my whole experience quick and easy with their great communication and professionalism. He was always straight forward and I could tell he had my best interest in mind. He made sure I didn’t get charged with “extreme intoxication”, while also reducing my fines and the length of my probation. I highly recommend him to anyone!" - Alex
"Mr. Shaeffer is a great attorney , very professional, very nice and is willing to work with you and help u threw any situation u may have or need help with . I recommend Mr. Shaeffer to anyone who needs help with any kind of legal issues or problems. Anyone who has asked me about an attorney i most definitely tell them Mr. Shaeffer and give them his info. Thank you for all your help and everything u have done for me and my family. You are a awesome attorney! Highly Recommend" - Anonymous
"Tylden is a fantastic attorney. He thoroughly prepared for my case and did an amazing job of relating to the judge and jury. I highly recommend Tylden. Would recommend to anyone!" - Skyler
"Tylden got my felony reduced to a misdemeanor. He saved my life. I didn’t have to pester him for information and updates about my case and his staff is well informed and helpful. He personally attended each and every one of my hearings and was just as concerned about restoring my reputation as I was. He recently got a motion for non-disclosure filed and approved by the judge so I will never have to admit this mistake ever happened. I would recommend Tylden to anyone! He is a highly intelligent and competent attorney. The Best!" - Anonymous
"I was represented by Mr. Shaeffer years ago (2004). He would travel from San Antonio all the way to Del Rio to represent me. My father and I were accused of wrong doing by federal agents and we had done nothing. We, my father and I were on trial simultaneously. We had hired an attorney and found out later he was friends with the prosecutor and wanted us to accept a plea bargain. “We did nothing wrong”, I cried to him. He insisted that we accept due to it being impossible to beat the Government. My father and I were close to giving up when we met Mr. Shaeffer. Mr. Shaeffer believed in us and fought for us. Because of him, I never saw prison walls nor was I ever away from my family. It was one of the most difficult times in my life, but thankfully we met a Godsend attorney and justice prevailed." - Anonymous