Conrad O’Brien Partner Patricia Hamill addressed The Chronicle of Education’s report of inordinate delays by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in investigating and resolving complaints against universities for mishandling the investigation and adjudication of sexual assault allegations. The Chronicle’s article reported only on delays regarding complaints by alleged victims of sexual assault. Patricia’s letter to the editor outlined that inexcusable delays occur across the board: in the investigation of complaints by both alleged victims and students being accused of sexual misconduct.
Patricia has represented hundreds of students in Title IX matters, including students who have been accused of sexual misconduct and who have later made complaints against their universities to the OCR for Title IX violations in connection with their universities’ handling of their disciplinary matters. Her clients with complaints to the OCR have included a student with a matter that has been pending for more than three years and another student with a complaint that was filed sixteen months ago where the OCR has yet to inform the student whether their complaint will even be investigated. She writes “[t]he losers in this process are students who turn to OCR for effective and timely relief and get neither.”