H. Michael Steinberg has over 32 years experience practicing Colorado criminal law. Mr. Steinberg strives to stay current with the ever changing aspects of criminal law issues and updates resulting in his extensive knowledge of successful criminal defense as well as appellate work. He is also an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Association, the Colorado Trial Lawyer's Association, and the Colorado and Arapahoe Bar Associations.
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Department of Education Opens the Flood Gates for Sexual Harassment Claims

In a move that can only be described as a Herman Cain Blowback, the United States Department of Education’s new mandate directs all colleges receiving federal funds to LOWER THE STANDARD OF PROOF for allegations of sexual harasment to a new lower burden of proof. The Department of Education directive mandates that all colleges receiving federal funds change the usual “clear and convincing” standard to “preponderance of evidence.”

This difference is a major change. The new lower standard requires only that 50.01 percent of the evidence be in favor of an offense having happened in order to reach a conviction.

In addition the Federal Violence Against Women Act, has a new proposed provision that proposes to turn the Department of Education directive into statutory law.

It really is strange for a bill to delegate to a federal agency the power to lower due process protections and standards of proof. I believe that is unprecedented,” says Hans Bader of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

This change has been described as having the impact of “turning campus disciplinary committees into veritable Kangaroo Courts, thus increasing the number of false allegations by leaps and bounds,” warns Philip Cook.

H. Michael’s Take

This attack on the civil rights of the accused is unfathomable. These “he said – she said” allegations should be held to the higher standard of evidence. We, as a society, should fight against the casual destruction of a person’s life based on the most minimal of claims.