Defending the falsely accused, particularly college students with their whole life and future at risk, is a point of pride for us. Most lawyers and law firms do not handle Title IX hearings, and there's a reason: they are difficult, and take a lot of work. We work together to defend against accusations, so that we can beat both Title IX hearings and protect our clients' rights. It is something we have a track record of success in doing too.
The Danger of Title IX
Most people do not realize it, but most Title IX investigations and hearings for which a person would need a lawyer start with a complaint to police. Oftentimes, the accuser goes to campus police, and the police, in turn, report the accusation to school administration. While police investigate the possible crime, the Title IX allegations are investigated, and often result in a hearing. This matters because fighting against being charged criminally and fighting for your degree are two different matters, and anyone accused needs to have an attorney who can fight on both fronts.
The System Is Unfair
The entire system is set up against the accused. First, the standard of proof for an accuser is only by a preponderance of the evidence, which is the lowest civil burden in the State of Illinois. Secondly, we live in a cultural and political climate in which no one believes the accused, and all too often believes the accuser. Thirdly, people accused are often denied their fundamental rights, such as to see the reports against them, despite the lip service many colleges and universities pay to protecting these rights. Fourthly, people need a lawyer to represent them, but colleges and universities prohibit that lawyer from asking questions of witnesses, which requires the lawyer to do a significant amount of preparation with his or her client before the hearing. Fifthly, colleges and universities take no action when it comes out at hearing that the accuser is entirely lying, but, to add insult to injury, take no action to protect those accused from reprisals either before or after a hearing. Last, but not least, it is possible for police to gather evidence at a Title IX hearing that is later used in the criminal prosecution of someone.
Our Results Speak for Themselves
In the last year, we have been successful in representing people throughout central Illinois at both Title IX hearings and in avoiding criminal charges, and our record speaks for itself.
- We win Title IX hearings all of the time: at Illinois State University alone right here in our backyard, we have won every single Title IX hearing.
- To date, we have only lost one Title IX hearing ever.
- We have successfully avoided criminal charges for every single one of our clients facing a Title IX hearing.
- The average time it took us to convince the police and prosecution not to pursue charges was only 45 days, so that our clients are not in limbo for months.
We Got Those Results Despite the Odds
Most of our results were obtained under circumstances that were less than ideal. As mentioned above, the social and political climate is one that will always believe an accuser over an accused. To add to the difficulty, most Title IX investigations and hearings follow allegations involving sex offenses, whether they be called rapes, sexual assaults, or groping. The results we obtain for people are great, but they are made that much more significant in light of the facts of some of the cases. Accomplishing this is no small feat, and takes a lot of strategy and skill.
- Win—Changed Mind After Consent: our client was accused of raping a girl, who was terrified of him, after a party. We gathered evidence and eye witnesses from the party that showed that not only were they engaged in intimate acts consensually, but also the accuser only changed her mind after she met with our client the following day.
- Win—Rejection Spawned Complete Lie: our client attended a party, at which the accuser threw herself at our client, literally trying to make out with our client by force. Unfortunately for her, our client was repulsed by this girl, as she was already very sloppy and drunk. The next day, the accusation of rape followed. We gathered enough evidence to convince all authorities that the accuser was a liar, even providing an alibi. Nothing happened to the liar, but our client remains free and in school.
- Win—Changed Mind After Consent and Solicited Lie from Friend who Became Another Accuser: our client met a girl, and they had sex. Shortly thereafter, following our client's decision not to engage in a romantic relationship, she decided that the sex was not consensual. Our client was pulled out of class, barred from being on campus, but, luckily, within hours our client came to us. We met with our private detectives, extracted texts from his phone, which showed this accuser was a liar: she wanted to be in a relationship, even complimenting him on how good the sex was. When confronted by police with this, she got a friend of hers to also make the same accusation, only this time in relation to sex more than a year before. Again, we refuted via eye witnesses and other evidence that this too was a lie. We had Title IX hearings regarding both allegations, and beat both, convincing the State in the meantime not to file any charges. Unfortunately, our client was not protected by the university, and faced reprisals, while the two liars remain free.
Copyright © 2017 by Brendan Bukalski
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