The Houston Chronicle noted that Engel and Martin, LLC is handing an appeal of a case involving discipline in a Title IX case at the University of Houston. The article noted that the University of Houston and Texas A&M University are among five Texas schools facing federal investigations into how they responded to allegations of sexual violence on campus. According to media reports, in March 2015 the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights opened an investigation into claims that Texas A&M officials went too far when they suspended a male student accused of assaulting a female classmate.
A 2011 letter from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights prompted many universities to respond more aggressively. The letter urged universities to rely on a preponderance of evidence – essentially, “more likely than not” – as opposed to the more stringent “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard applied in criminal trials.
Engel, who has represented other students or former students suing universities, said schools have acted too swiftly in fear of federal investigations being launched on their campuses.
“We’ve seen schools really rush to judgment on these cases in order to make themselves look better for the Department of Education all around the country,” he said.
Engel and Martin, LLC has represented a number of students nationwide in a cases involving claims under Title IX and sexual assault on university campuses.