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Title IX Hearing Officers (Decision-Makers)

FACILITATING COMPASSIONATE, EQUITABLE, AND THOROUGH TITLE IX HEARINGS

Why Independent Decision-Makers?

Title IX outcomes can be life-altering for students and employees as well as a source of liability for schools. Decision-Makers with the experience, skills, and confidence to oversee a live hearing and determine the outcome of a Title IX case are critical.

Additionally, external Decision-Makers determine the outcome of a case independently from the school, minimizing possible concerns about biases or conflicts of interest as well as potential Title IX appeals or litigation.

Why Title IX Solutions Decision-Makers?

Title IX Solutions Decision-Makers are experts in the field and have conducted numerous hearings under the current Title IX Regulations. They have established internal best practices for facilitating pre-hearing meetings and hearings, questioning parties, and drafting determinations of responsibility. 

As experienced mediators and arbitrators, including retired judges and a former university counsel, our Decision-Makers have extensive experience evaluating evidence and witness credibility; determining the relevance of questions and evidence; maintaining authority during disciplinary proceedings; and drafting clear, concise, and compliant determinations.

Our Decision-Makers also recognize the importance of truly listening to each party’s story. They are kind, compassionate, and attentive while conducting hearings with fairness and equality for all involved parties. 

All Title IX Decision-Makers have completed training required under Title IX as well as the training on the impact of trauma on involved parties and intersection of sexual violence and LGBTQ+ communities. 

What Decision-Making services do we offer?

When a Title IX Solutions Decision-Maker is engaged by a school, the Decision-Maker will do the following:

  • Review the school’s Title IX or sexual harassment policy
  • Evaluate the formal complaint, investigative report, and evidence
  • Facilitate the pre-hearing meeting (if permitted under school policy)
  • Oversee the live hearing with authority
  • Question parties and witnesses
  • Determine the rlevance of quesitons asked during cross-examination
  • Synthesize information from the investigation and hearing to consider the outcome of the case
  • Analyze evidence and statements to determine responsibility
  • Draft the written determination regarding responsibility
  • Communicate with the school regarding sanctioning (if appropriate)
  • Title IX Solutions administrators are also available to assist in the coordiantion and facilitation of the hearing, recording of the hearing, and/or provision of the hearing transcript at an additional cost. 

Depending on your institution’s needs and policy, schools may engage:

  • Single Decision-Maker
  • Hearing Panel (Two or more Decision-Makers)
  • Hearing Officer Support (One or more Decision-Makers serving alongside internal Decision-Makers)
  • Appeals Decision-Maker

Contact us to see which is right for your institution.

Meet Our Decision-Makers

Kim L. Kirn, J.D.

Kim is a full-time mediator and arbitrator with hundreds of completed cases relating to education including special education, ADA, housing, affirmative action, tenure, sexual harassment and employment. Kim often acts as a fact finder which requires that she act as a mediator to see if resolution is possible before beginning the hearing.

Robert D. Litz, J.D.

Rob is an experienced civil trial lawyer, arbitrator, mediator, civil service hearing officer and President of USA&M. He has arbitrated and mediated cases involving employment, including sex, age, sexual orientation and race discrimination, as well as personal injury, products liability, and more.

C.J. Larkin, J.D., M.A.

C.J. holds over 30 years of experience as a mediator, facilitator, educator and trainer. She has mediated over 750 employment, education, family, attorney-client, small business, non-profit and public/civil rights disputes cases. She serves on the USA&M Mediator panel and is a partner at Dispute Resolution Professionals, LLC.

Kenneth M. Chackes, J.D.

With extensive experience as a mediator and hearing officer, he has served as a mediator in over 175 cases over the last 20 years, primarily in the areas of education, employment and civil rights. He also served as a hearing officer in numerous contested education cases, involving students in elementary and secondary schools.

JUDGE JAMISON

Judge Michael T. Jamison

After 22 years on the bench, the Honorable Michael T. Jamison retired as a Circuit Judge for the State of Missouri. He is a mediator with USA&M. Judge Jamison is an adjunct professor and has taught business Law, employment Law, contracts and administrative Law, as well as economics.

MELVIN KENNEDY

Melvin D. Kennedy, J.D., M.P.A.

Melvin has practiced law since 1993, representing both employers and employees in employment discrimination cases. For 14 years, he worked as a senior trial attorney for the U.S. EEOC. As a mediator, he has mediated employment disputes throughout several states.

Jim Reeves

James W. Reeves, J.D., L.L.M.

For over 30 years, James has mediated business and legal disputes involving employment and workplace, general tort liability, medical malpractice, products liability, condemnation, family business issues, and more. He has expertise convening multi-party processes to resolve legal, organizational, community, and public policy disputes.

Judge Patricia A. Riehl

A retired Missouri Circuit Judge from the 23rd Judicial Circuit, Judge Riehl has held the positions of municipal judge, commissioner, associate circuit judge and circuit judge during her career. She served as a hearing officer and was appointed a disciplinary hearing officer for the Missouri Supreme Court, and is currently a mediator and arbitrator for USA&M.

Ann Davis Shields

Ann is a Professor of Practice and Director of Pretrial Practice and Settlement at WashULaw. She directs the law school’s Pretrial Practice and Settlement courses and performs investigations for school boards to assess the viability of student, staff or faculty allegations of district policy violations. She has mediated employment and ADA disputes.

Did you know we also provide Informal Resolution Facilitators?

We also offer other services! Not sure what you need?
Schedule a free consultation with our Executive Director Adrienne Mathis!