Lozano Smith’s Title IX Practice Area is comprised of specialists dedicated to the pressing issues faced by K-12 school districts, community college districts and higher education institutions. From athletics to sexual violence, this team advises, trains, and educates clients on the various components of Title IX – from prevention and mitigation to investigations resulting in disciplinary action.

Attorneys in the Title IX Practice Area collaborate with multiple practice groups, including student, labor and employment, investigations and special education. Our team focuses its efforts on streamlining the advice and counsel that is provided to clients on Title IX-related issues. Areas in which the group provides advice and training include:

  • Athletics, including audits of athletic programs
  • Sex-based discrimination of students and employees
  • Pregnant and parenting students
  • Single-sex education
  • Issues relating to transgender employees and students
  • Developing and auditing complaint grievance procedures and policies
  • Responding to reports of sexual misconduct and harassment
  • Investigating complaints of sexual misconduct and harassment
  • Title IX Coordinator roles and responsibilities
  • District and employee liability
  • Reporting obligations
  • Interaction with law enforcement agencies
  • Discipline of employees and students
  • Litigation
  • VAWA/Clery Act
  • Trainings

Commitment to Craft

Members of the Title IX Practice Area continually improve their craft through trainings with other investigators and associations, and many are trained and certified by:

  • Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA)
  • Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI)
  • Trauma-Informed Training and Practices

Preventive Measures and Education

Through onsite trainings, our team proactively works with educational institutions to spot issues and trends, strengthen processes and protocols. We help build skills within your staff, and expand knowledge for identifying issues and addressing misconduct when it occurs.

Our clients find that in many cases this helps to save costs in the long run.

Lozano Smith has partnered with several leading associations to help equip leaders on best practices in addressing Title IX-related matters, including the Association of Chief Human Resources Offices (ACHRO), Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), and Small School Districts Association (SSDA).

Representative workshops include

  • Building for the Future, Now: Best Practices in Conducting Title IX Investigations
  • Best practices and responsibilities for administrators
  • Title IX Investigations: how to conduct an investigation
  • Reporting duties for teachers under Title IX
  • Title IX and state-afforded rights for transgender students
  • Non-binary employees in the workplace
  • AB 1805: Mandated Sexual Harassment Training

Emotional Distress Damages Unavailable in Section 504 Actions

By:Jennifer Baldassari, Amanda Cordova -

May 2022Number 20On April 28, 2022, the United States Supreme Court narrowed the scope of damages available under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), ruling that emotional distress damages are not recoverable in private actions to enforce Section 504 and other similar Spending Clause antidiscrimination statutes, including the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Title VI, and Title IX.BackgroundPlaintiff Jane Cummings is deaf, legally blind, and communicates primarily in Americ...

The Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights Will No Longer Enforce a Portion of the 2020 Amendments to Title IX Regulations

By:Sarah Fama, Carolyn Gemma -

January 2022Number 1Following a recent decision by a federal district court in Massachusetts, the United States Department of Education (DOE) published a bulletin stating that its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will no longer enforce the “Suppression Clause” of the 2020 Amendments to the Title IX Regulations (2020 Amendments). The impact of this decision is that educational institutions who receive federal funds (Recipients), can individually decide whether they want to remove the ...

REMINDER: The New Requirements for Postsecondary Institutions to Address Sexual Harassment of Students Become Effective January 1, 2022

By:Sarah Fama -

December 2021Number 49On September 29, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 493, requiring postsecondary institutions to take certain actions and implement certain procedures related to sexual harassment prevention and handling complaints of sexual harassment. Lozano Smith Client News Brief Number 81 provides an overview regarding the new requirements and provides important takeaways for Postsecondary Institutions. Postsecondary Institutions must be in compliance with the new require...

"On the Basis of Sex" Interpreted: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Protected Under Title IX

By:Jonathan Berry-Smith -

July 2021Number 15On June 16, 2021, the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a Notice of Interpretation [1] explaining that discrimination “on the basis of sex” under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) encompasses both sexual orientation and gender identity. This interpretation clarifies how OCR will enforce Title IX moving forward, in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County Georgia...

New Appellate Court Case Holds College Not Required to Hold Live Evidentiary Hearing before Issuing Written Reprimand

By:Sloan Simmons -

March 2021Number 5The California Court of Appeal has held that a community college's issuance of a written reprimand to a student found in violation of the college's policy against harassment does not entitle the student to a live evidentiary hearing. (Knight v. S. Orange Cmty. Coll. Dist. (Feb. 10, 2021) Case No. G058644, 2021 WL 486518.) In reaching its decision, the court distinguished a written reprimand from a suspension or expulsion and discussed a string of recent California cases that...

Redefining Sex: How the Office of Civil Rights Distinguishes Title VII from Title IX in Relation to Transgender Athletes

By:Jonathan Berry-Smith -

December 2020Number 86The United States Supreme Court's landmark decision in Bostock v. Clayton County Georgia (2020) 590 U.S. __ [140 S.Ct. 1731] is producing ripple effects in the legal community. In Bostock, the Supreme Court held that the scope of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1965 (Title VII) which, in part, prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, extends its workplace protections to people based on their sexual orientation or transgender status (and presumably their gen...

Public School Districts Cannot be Sued Under California's Unruh Civil Rights Act for Disability Discrimination

By:Sloan Simmons, Erin Frazor -

December 2020Number 83In a case of first impression, the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District, recently held that a school district is not a "business establishment" and therefore cannot be liable for disability discrimination under California's Unruh Civil Rights Act, Civil Code section 51 (Unruh Act). (Brennon B. v. Superior Court of Contra Costa County (Nov. 13, 2020, A157026) _ Cal.App.5th _.) The court in Brennon B. concluded the Unruh Act imposes liability only on...