All young men and women who take up residence on a college campus for the first time find themselves entering a challenging new universe with unique threats and dangers. The cause of these problems can originate from a fellow student, as in a valid case of sexual harassment (or a false claim of harassment), or from the school itself, as in a baseless disciplinary charge which can lead to expulsion.
The attorneys in our office have considerable experience representing students in every capacity including school administrative proceedings involving disciplinary sanctions and expulsion proceedings; claims of sexual harassment and hazing for both victims and alleged perpetrators; and the defense of criminal charges of driving under the influence, drug offenses, crimes of violence and felonies, and misdemeanors in all courts.
In addition, our office has been active in representing students and faculty members in civil rights claims of all types, including wrongful dismissal in the case of undergraduate and graduate students dismissed days before graduation; Title IX and discrimination claims based on gender, sex, and religion; and wrongful employment termination.
Most students who come to see us with a problem feel particularly vulnerable and powerless given their youth and inexperience. For this reason our first task is to advise new clients that they possess important rights that exist as a matter of contract between the educational institution and individual students, as defined in the student handbook and various related writings. In the case of a pubic university, federal and state constitutional rights apply, particularly the right of equal protection and due process of law. We advise all our clients that these essential legal rights must be actively asserted by the wronged party or they are without meaning or effect.
At Spinella & Associates we are dedicated advocates on behalf of every member of the academic community in all legal matters. We welcome all inquiries and the opportunity to discuss your case personally.
We can be reached by phone at (860) 728-4900, or by email.