Herrick’s sexual assault investigation and consulting practice group uses its unique experience to counsel colleges, universities and major sports organizations in sexual assault cases.
We work with institutions to ensure that they are in compliance with various federal and state laws and regulations. Our attorneys also advise clients on the design and implementation of effective and comprehensive responses to sexual misconduct. Drawing on the breadth of our prosecutorial experience, we conduct victim sensitive investigations into allegations of sexual assault.
Colleges and Universities and Collegiate Athletics: Our services help organizations promote safe and respectful learning and work environments with policies, procedures, and investigations that satisfy current, and still evolving, federal and state laws and regulations governing how colleges and universities must respond to sexual violence -- legislation that includes Title IX, the Clery Act, the Campus SaVE Act, and New York State’s recently adopted Enough is Enough law. We are also adept at navigating the collegiate athletics landscape, with an in-depth understanding as to the roles the NCAA, athletics conferences, athletics departments and local authorities play during the investigation process.
Professional and Other Major Sports Organizations: We counsel professional sports leagues, teams and governing bodies on sensitive and often highly publicized matters in relation to federal and state sex crime and domestic violence laws as well as the administration of, and compliance with, league and other governing organization requirements.
Areas of Focus:
Assessing Existing Policies and Procedures
We work with clients to analyze current policies and procedures, evaluate past responses to incidents of misconduct, identify areas of risk and provide recommendations for improvements, including on issues of compliance.
Designing and Implementing New Guidelines and Programs
We advise clients on the development and implementation of forward-looking prevention and response initiatives that better inform and protect students and employees, ensure prompt and fair resolution of complaints, and respond strategically to a changing regulatory landscape.
Internal investigations into alleged sexual misconduct demand a specific skill set that our attorneys can provide. These cases require sensitivity, privacy and due process. Our attorneys, including former sex crimes prosecutors, integrate their skills into a strategy that is focused, discrete, maintains applicable privileges, minimizes disruption, and takes into account any parallel regulatory investigations.
Educating and Training
Education and training are essential elements in effectively addressing sexual violence issues. We can both identify areas of weakness in existing programs and create new and more effective programs that actively engage participants-- and collaborate with Human Resources and legal departments where required.
Responding to Government Inquiries and Investigations
Drawing upon a wealth of experience in government investigations and enforcement work, our attorneys are skilled negotiators, providing clients with effective legal representation designed to address government concerns at the outset and resolve them expeditiously.
Drawing upon our own expertise in handling high profile media matters, we also collaborate with outside PR firms to offer clients guidance in dealing with government, law enforcement and the media in a way that supports the client’s needs.
Chaired by Elizabeth Holtzman, formerly the Kings County District Attorney and current chair of the Congressionally mandated panel formed to address issues of sexual assault in the U.S. military, the practice group draws upon a seasoned team of lawyers who have a vast range of experience and knowledge on issues related to sexual violence and discrimination.