Allen Law Blog

    University of Tennessee Pharmacy Student Sues School Over Discipline for Social Media Posts

    Kimberly Diel, a University of Tennessee pharmacy student, recently filed a first amendment lawsuit against the school, alleging the university expelled her because she posted on her private, personal social accounts the school deemed too sexual.  The pharmacy school complained that this was “unprofessional.”  It is all too common that professional schools or special programs claim a greater right to…

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    Federal Judge Orders UConn to Pay Attorney Michael Thad Allen $63,000 for Violating Due Process Rights of Student

    Judge Michael Shea of the Federal District Court of Connecticut has ordered the University of Connecticut to pay Attorney Michael Thad Allen over $63,000 in reasonable attorney fees due to the university’s violation of a student’s due process rights in a sexual misconduct hearing. Attorney Allen sued on behalf of “John Doe” after the University of Connecticut suspended him for…

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    Supreme Court Rules Against UNC in Sexual Assault Discipline Case

    Students educational records just became much less private, at least at state universities. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recently appealed a decision of the state supreme court all the way to the United States Supreme Court.  The North Carolina ruling required UNC to release disciplinary records of students who violated university policies related to sexual assault. Now…

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    New Department of Education Hotline for Campus Free Speech Violations Draws Criticism

    In December, the U.S. Department of Education announced the implementation of a new “free speech hotline” for students and faculty members to file complaints about free speech violations at colleges and universities. The “hotline” is not so much a hotline in the traditional sense.  Instead an email account freespeech@ed.gov managed by attorneys from the Office of General Counsel for the…

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    Sixth Circuit Takes Back Win for Title IX Plaintiff Who Argued University of Michigan Didn’t Do Enough to Protect Her from Sexual Harassment

    The University of Michigan recently secured a significant victory in a Title IX case that split judges on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. In an 8-6 en banc decision, the court overruled the decision of a three-judge panel and found that the university had responded adequately to an alleged victim’s allegations of harassment.  The appeal court added that UMich…

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    Federal Judge Could Strike Part of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s Title IX Rule

    Federal judge William Young of the Federal District Court for Massachusetts indicated he may strike down part of the rule implemented by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos regarding how schools are required to respond to sexual misconduct allegations under Title IX. The regulations implemented August 14, 2020 require universities to allow cross examination. The requirement of cross examination, which is the…

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    New Title IX Rules Retroactive: Doe v. Rensselaer Polytechnic University

    The new Title IX rules instituted on August 14, 2020 guarantee more due process rights to both the accused and to accusers.  Still, colleges and universities that fought the new regulations tooth and nail, wish to keep applying their old rules as long as they can.  Recently, the United States District Court, Northern District of New York told RPI that…

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    U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Free Speech Case Against Georgia Gwinnett College

    The United States Supreme Court will hear a case pitting a pair of Georgia Gwinnett College students against campus administrators.  At issue is whether it is legal to confine free speech on public campuses to so-called “free speech” zones.  These zones are often minuscule and clearly meant to send the message that campuses will only tolerate free speech if forced…

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    R.I.P. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Staunch Feminist Supporter of Title IX Rights

    Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died September 18, 2020 at the age of 87, was famous for her staunch feminist support of Title IX rights—including the due process rights that protect the accused and alleged victims alike. The justice, fondly known in pop culture as “Notorious RBG,” has left a legacy of advocating for gender equality and women’s…

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    Syracuse University Can’t Hide Student Advisor Records Simply by Assigning “Therapists” To Be Advisors: Lessons for Accused Students and Victims Alike

    Read the decision: Order to Disclose Campus Advisor Records The US District Court for the Northern District of New York has just ordered Syracuse University to hand over the records of a campus “advisor” who gave procedural advice to the complainant in its Title IX proceedings after the judge found that portions showed the disciplinary proceedings were “procedurally unfair and…

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