In advising and educating our clients, I focus primarily on helping them to manage potential conflicts, enhance the safety of individuals and environments, and navigate successfully the maze of legal obligations faced by institutions of higher education and employers. I understand that sensitive, high-stakes matters require immediate attention, and I am there for our clients whenever the need arises. When conflict cannot be avoided, I represent our clients zealously in court and before administrative agencies.
Higher Education Law Advising
As Chair of Dinse’s Education Practice Group, I advise clients throughout the United States regarding individual situations that implicate Title IX, the Clery Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, FERPA, and other laws that apply in the higher education context. On a system-wide basis, I conduct compliance assessments, and help clients develop policies, practices and training programs to minimize risk and enhance compliance with those laws. I also help clients comply with the Clery Act and its recordkeeping and annual reporting requirements.
Employment Law Advising
I help employers deal with day-to-day employee relations issues, advise them on how to comply with applicable employment laws, and help them create effective employment policies and training programs.
Threat Assessment / Campus and Workplace Safety Advising
I advise clients on threat assessment practices, which use a proven methodology to assess and manage potential risks of targeted violence in the higher education and workplace settings, collaborate with full-time threat assessment professionals where necessary, and help clients create appropriate violence prevention policies.
I have over twenty-five years of experience in representing clients in federal and state courts, and before administrative agencies such as the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. I have successfully argued many cases before the Vermont Supreme Court, including cases that created favorable precedent in the higher education and employment contexts.
In client-sponsored and in public venues, I regularly educate higher education and human resources professionals throughout the country on best and promising practices in Title IX/Clery Act compliance, trauma-informed fair investigations of Title IX/Clery Act-related matters, threat assessment and management, ADA issues, and other higher education and employment law issues.
I provide independent investigations of sensitive campus and workplace issues, such as reports of alleged sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence or stalking, and alleged sexual harassment and other workplace misconduct.
- In 2017, worked with Sigma Threat Management Associates to create the curriculum for and to present a series of four trauma-informed investigation and adjudication programs throughout Virginia for the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. These programs are scheduled to continue in 2018.
- In 2014, worked with a team to develop a curriculum for the trauma-informed sexual assault investigation and adjudication training program that is mentioned at pages 3 and 13 of the April 2014 First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, served as pilot program faculty and continue to serve as a faculty member for the final program currently being presented around the country.
- In 2009-2011, participated as a subject matter expert in the development of the curriculum for a U.S. Department of Justice-funded program, “Campus Threat Assessment Training: A Multidisciplinary Approach for Institutions of Higher Education,” and co-presented that training at 10 locations throughout the United States.
- Member, National Association of College and University Attorneys
- American, Vermont and Chittenden County Bar Associations
- Member, Association of Threat Assessment Professionals
- Advisory Board Member, University of Vermont Legal Issues in Higher Education Conference
- Past Chair, Board of Directors, Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS)
- Past Chair, Board of Directors of Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Advisory Board for University of Vermont’s Legal Issues in Higher Education Conference
- Past President and past member, Board of Directors, Boys & Girls Club of Burlington
- Past Chair, Board of Directors, Leadership Champlain
- Faculty member, Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services Trauma-Informed Investigation and Adjudication program (Fredericksburg, Virginia (July, 2017), Lynchburg, Virginia (September, 2017), Blacksburg, Virginia (September, 2017), Williamsburg, Virginia (April 2018), Fairfax, Virginia (June 2018) and Farmville, Virginia (July 2018)).
- Faculty member, Department of Justice’s National Center for Campus Public Safety’s Trauma-Informed Sexual Assault Investigation and Adjudication Institute, Washington, D.C. (July 2016), Auburn, Alabama (December 2016), Salem, Massachusetts (January 2017), Colchester, Vermont (June 2017)), Austin, Texas (January 2018).
- Faculty member for Pilot Presentations of the Trauma-Informed Sexual Assault Investigation and Adjudication Program developed by the Department of Justice’s National Center for Campus Public Safety (as mentioned in the White House’s Not Alone Task Force Report), Richmond, VA (October 2014), Berkeley, CA (January 2015), Jefferson City, MO (April 2015), and Seattle, WA (August, 2015).
- Co-presenter, “Title IX, VAWA and Threat Assessment Training” sponsored by EduRisk (United Educators), Baltimore, MD (June 2015); Boston, MA (July 2015); Chicago, IL (October, 2015); Atlanta, GA (November 2015).
- Co-presenter, “Q&A With an Expert On Preventing School Shootings” United Educators, nationally-broadcast webinar (April 2018).
- Presenter, “Trauma-Informed Investigations: Lessons Learned From the Kavanaugh Hearing,” UVM Legal Issues in Higher Education Conference, October, 2018.
- Co-presenter, “Campus Threat Assessment: Recent Court Decisions and Emerging Promising Practices,” UVM Legal Issues in Higher Education Conference, October, 2018.
- Presenter, “Responding to and Investigating Intimate Partner Violence and Stalking” Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services Campus Safety and Violence Prevention Forum, Portsmouth, Virginia (March 2018).
- Presenter, “Investigating Intimate Partner Violence and Stalking,” and co-presenter, “Best Practices for Trauma-Informed Investigations” The Consortium of Title IX Coordinators and Equity Officers in Higher Ed Spring 2017 Conference, Austin, Texas, May 2017.
- Co-presenter, Accommodating Disabilities in Student Housing, National Association of College and University Attorneys nationally-broadcast webinar (May, 2016).
- Co-presenter, “Workplace Mental Health Issues: Continuing Challenges, Advanced Strategies,” National Association of College and University Attorneys 2016 CLE, Denver, CO, March 2016.
- Co-presenter, “Sexual Assault Response and Care Teams and Threat Assessment,” National Conference on Law and Higher Education, Stetson University, Orlando, FL, February 2016.
- Speaker, “Threat Assessment in the Workplace,” BLR Workplace Violence Prevention Symposium, Orlando, FL, February 2016.
- Co-presenter, “Minimizing Risk and Managing Response to Workplace Violence,” BLR Safety Summit, San Antonio, TX, April 2015.
- Co-Presenter, “Sexual Assault- A Threat Assessment Approach”, Association of Threat Assessment Professionals Regional Conference, New York City, March 2015.
- Speaker, “Title IX, Meet Clery, Clery Meet Title IX: Implementing the VAWA Amendments to the Clery Act” UVM Legal Issues in Higher Education Conference, October, 2014.
- Speaker, “The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act and Campus Threat Assessment,” UVM Legal Issues in Higher Education Conference, October 2014.
- Speaker, “Reducing Risk in Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Situations: Integrating Campus Threat Assessment With Campus SaVE Act Functions,” National Webinar sponsored by United Educators and URMIA, September 2014.
- Speaker, University of Texas Systemwide Compliance Office, “Title IX, Meet Clery, Clery, Meet Title IX: Implementing Campus SaVE”, multi-state webinar, May 2014.
- To see a complete list of presentations, please click here.
- Vermont (1991)
- Massachusetts (2013)
- New York (2014)
- Texas (2016)
- Commonwealth of Virginia (2018)