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Understanding Affirmative Consent

Title IX states that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” This federal statute requires schools and universities that receive federal funding to address and investigate allegations of sexual misconduct involving their students or faculty.

Many allegations under Title IX are brought forth due to alleged misunderstandings surrounding affirmative consent. Get the facts on affirmative consent so you know how to defend your rights.

What is Affirmative Consent?

Due to pressure by the federal government, many schools have imposed rules on their faculty and students concerning the type and nature of consent that is required before any sexual activity occurs. While consent policies vary from school to school, most stipulate that consent cannot be obtained if someone is "unable" to consent.

While this is the governing principle for affirmative consent, the law has not clearly defined what being “unable to consent” actually means. Can a person who is "buzzed" or "light-headed" consent? What if a person who is drunk does not show any signs of intoxication, and the other person doesn’t know that they are drunk?

Many schools have rules which require both parties to express consent through clear and unambiguous words or actions. Absent that, it could fall under the school’s definition of sexual assault.

Due to this strict standard, and the complexities in the law, it can be challenging to defend yourself in a Title IX case. It’s in your best interest to contact an experienced defense attorney who knows how to protect your rights. At Caplan & Tamburino, we have successfully defended numerous clients facing allegations under Title IX, and we’re prepared to fight for you, too.

Contact us today at (612) 444-5020 to learn how we can help you.

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  • “ Today I had a court appearance where your attorney, LIS CARLSON represented me. I must start at the beginning, MS. CARLSON returned my phone call to her with in an hour of my first call to your office. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the quick response to my call & most important how LIS immediately made me feel, she was professional, caring, her ability to immediately know that I was a total mess. Before she finished with my call she made sure that I was alright, her compassion for me was extremely needed. I immediately felt there couldn’t be a better attorney in the state better than LIS! Throughout this entire process, Lis was a pillar of strength. I was amazed at how she handled everything with extreme care & some very excellent, professional legal skills. I count my blessings but I count them twice when I came to LIS. The world needs more people like LIS, smart, intelligent, kind and caring.” - P.G.
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  • “ Kayla Wengronowitz was my attorney in a claim against me involving Title IX and won my difficult and extensive case. She was a beacon of hope to me when my options seemed very limited. Kayla provided clarity for me to understand everything happening in the case, she made smart and calculated decisions, she made sure I was comfortable with every decision she made, and she responded to difficult situations seemingly with ease. Most importantly, Kayla was empathetic and provided comfort throughout the strenuous process. I am extremely grateful for her service and highly recommend her without reservation.” - Anonymous
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