Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

Stanford Terminates Attorney for Criticizing Title IX Process

Published on Feb 23, 2017 at 12:58 pm in Title IX.

Stanford University has ended its professional relationship with an attorney, Crystal Riggins, who spoke out publicly against the university’s internal process for handling sexual assault complaints.  Riggins was one of six attorneys who provided legal guidance to students and was the only attorney who exclusively represented accusers.  The university provides attorneys for students involved in sexual assault complaints under Title IX, a federal law that protects victims of sexual assault on college campuses.

In a New York Times article on December 29, Riggins expressed frustration about Stanford’s requirement that a three-member panel unanimously find an accused student guilty of sexual assault.  “It is very difficult to get a 3-0 decision from a panel, and these young women are terrified and traumatized and just want it to be done,” said Riggins.

Lauren Schoenthaler, a Stanford administrator who oversees reviews of sexual assault complaints, said in a letter to Riggins that her comments indicated a lack of faith in Stanford’s Title IX process.  “Given your stated lack of confidence,” she said, “it does not make sense for the university to continue to refer our students to you.”

The Federal Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has four open investigations into complaints made by students against Stanford for the way the university has handled sexual assault cases in recent years.

Stanford is one of only two schools with the rigorous requirement for a panel of board members to reach a unanimous decision to find an accused student guilty.  Victims’ rights advocates say this system strongly favors the accused.

Riggins has two pending cases with the university and plans to continue to represent those students involved.  She has said she will continue to provide legal guidance to students who are willing to hire her independently for Title IX cases at Stanford.

Riggins has made several suggestions to improve Stanford’s sexual assault compliant process and the level of fairness of the system.  “As a zealous advocate, my only duty is to the student-parties that I represent,” said Riggins.  “I am greatly concerned that my removal from the Stanford-identified attorney list will disadvantage complaining students.”

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Title IX case that was not handled fairly, Thomas Law Offices offers you a free, zero-obligation consultation of your case.  Tad Thomas, Louisville, KY sexual assault lawyer, is dedicated to making sure victims of assault be treated with fairness and respect.  Contact our dedicated legal team for more information.

Meet Your Team

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out-of-pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Legal & Firm News

New York Nursing Homes to See 5% Profit Cap in 2022

Under a new budget established by Governor Andrea Cuomo’s office, all nursing home operators in New York will be required to return all profits in excess of five percent to the state beginning in January 2022.

Read More

End-of-Life Care and Your Rights in Illinois

As someone nears the end of their life—whether it be sudden or an expected decline, decisions will need to be made about allowable medical care, the person’s estate, and what their wishes are in terms of funeral services. While it’s normal for family members not to want to have those discussions, it’s imperative to have […]

Read More

University of Evansville Sued, Former Basketball Coach Accused of Sexual Harassment

A former student athletic trainer from the University of Evansville has filed a lawsuit against the Indiana institution, alleging sexual assault and a pattern of sexual harassment by a former basketball head coach.

Read More