Cari Simon Featured in Washington Post Article – “Biden and Obama Rewrite the Rulebook on College Sexual Assaults.” Kansas State Lawsuits Also Featured.

Cari Simon and her representation of two Kansas State University campus rape survivors are featured in Washington Post article concerning the college sexual assault crisis in America.

In the wake of the Stanford University rape case, the focus on campus sexual misconduct has intensified.

Vice President Biden penned a gripping letter to the victim – “I am filled with furious anger, both that this happened to you and that our culture is still so broken.” The letter seemed to encapsulate the national outrage that erupted when the woman’s attacker was sentenced to just six months in county jail and simultaneously cast light on the rigorous effort of this administration to transform the way colleges and universities responded to allegations of sexual misconduct.

“The administration’s approach — through federal enforcement of civil rights protections and a campus-based advocacy campaign — was spurred in part by an emboldened group of survivors who have gone public with their complaints about their schools’ unresponsiveness. But it also reflects the activism of Biden and President Obama, who became alarmed at the idea of rape as a fixture of college life.” – The Washington Post

In 2001, the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights issued guidance that sexual harassment constituted a threat to students’ ability to pursue educational opportunities.

Attorney Cari Simon, of The Fierberg National Law Group and School Violence Law, has represented dozens of campus-assault survivors. She tells The Washington Post, aspects of the guidance, like accommodations to shield victims from subsequent harassment and trauma, are critical to avoid them going into “a downward-spiral path”.

Cari recently garnered national attention with her representation of two Kansas State University sexual assault survivors, Sara Weckhorst and Tessa Farmer. Weckhorst and Farmer were raped at university sanctioned fraternity houses, but due to Kansas State’s refusal to investigate sexual assaults occurring off-campus, must continue to share campus with their assailants. With the help of Cari Simon, the two women are suing Kansas State University, and on Friday, the Justice Department filed two separate amicus briefs on the students’ side, arguing their Title IX suits should go forward.

Schools are legally obligated to ensure sexual violence does not undermine students’ educations, and although the federal disciplinary guidance remains controversial, the campaign for bystander intervention that the White House launched in 2014, It’s On Us, has won widespread support by encouraging victims and bystanders alike to demand more accountability from schools.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

Fraternity Hazing and Sexual Assault BBC Documentary Features The Fierberg National Law Group

The BBC Documentary, Frat Boys: Inside America’s Fraternities, aired last week to audiences across Europe, garnering rave reviews.

The hour long BBC expose dives deeper into U.S. Fraternity life, narrowly debunking and greatly personifying fraternity stereotypes that exist within the minds of Europeans, and let’s be honest, (non-Greek) Americans alike.

In the midst of toga parties and binge drinking, Douglas Fierberg and Cari Simon of The Fierberg National Law Group cast a sobering light onto the common practices of hazing and sexual assault that run rampant within fraternity culture.  While our client, Terrance Bennett, bravely chronicles his experience as a Tau Kappa Epsilon (“TKE”) pledge, recalling in horrifying detail the hazing practices that led him to be hospitalized for weeks and nearly cost him his life.

“The film highlighted two disturbing statistics: that frat member students were three times more likely to commit sexual assault than non-members, and that violent initiations, known as “hazing”, have been responsible for a staggering 22 deaths in just eight years. More sinister still is that American universities have been complicit in keeping such occurrences out of the courts, and out of the news, because they receive 75 per cent of donations from fraternity members.”The Telegraph

The family of Harrison Kowiak, a 19 year old co-ed who died trying to join a fraternity, also shares their son’s story in the documentary. A football accident, his family was told, initially, took Harrison’s life.  Though, after commissioning their own investigation, Harrison’s family discovered he’d been killed during a hazing ritual in which pledge’s are taken to a desolate field in the black of night and told to capture a sacred rock while being tackled from all sides by fraternity brothers dressed in dark clothing.

Frat Boys: Inside America’s Fraternities will air in the United States Fall 2016.

Click here to read more about the BBC documentary as told by the British national daily newspaper, The Guardian.

Nicholas Holt, Sophomore at Stony Brook University, Tragically Died After Frat Party

Suffolk police are investigating the death of a Stony Brook University student following a party at an off-campus fraternity house last week.

Nicholas Holt, stony brook university, alpha phi delta, fraternity, death

Stony Brook University sophomore, Nicholas Holt, tragically loses his life after attending Alpha Phi Delta fraternity party

The student, Nicholas Holt, was a freshman at Stony Brook University and member of the Alpha Phi Delta fraternity, according to an article published by NBC 4 New York.

Stony Brook University has reported to NBC 4 New York that Nicholas lost his life several days after he was taken from the party to Mather Hospital.

Having represented victims of similar tragedies associated with fraternities, our hope is that Nicholas Holt’s family finds answers related to how this terrible loss transpired.

Our thoughts are with Nicholas’ family and community during this extremely difficult time.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

  • Our Ethic

    Our Ethic

    More than 20 years ago, Doug Fierberg was the first lawyer to exclusively represent victims of school violence nationwide. As his legal team has grown, we have always believed that giving back is essential. Thus, our lawyers – for no fee - have compelled wrongdoers to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation to non-profit organizations whose missions are to eliminate hazing, sexual assault, binge drinking, and other violence from schools.

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  • Fraternity Victims

    Fraternity Victims

    "Fierberg is a man of obvious and deep intelligence, comfortable - in the way of alpha-male litigators - with sharply correcting a fuzzy thought; with using obscenities; with speaking derisively, even contemptuously, of opponents. He is also the man I would run to as though my hair were on fire if I ever found myself in a legal battle with a fraternity, and so should you." - Caitlin Flanagan, The Atlantic

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  • School Rape

    School Rape

    The litigation experience of Doug Fierberg paired with the national Title IX movement expertise of Cari Simon make us uniquely effective advocates for people who have suffered rape or sexual assault in schools and universities.

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  • Trial Attorneys

    Trial Attorneys

    Federal and state courts across the country have admitted Mr. Fierberg to practice before them to serve as lead trial counsel for wrongful death, hazing, sexual assault and catastrophic personal injury cases, including cases filed in Alabama, Arizona, California, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Virginia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Indiana, Texas, Mississippi, Nevada, Maryland, District of Columbia, and Ohio.

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"Doug Fierberg, Cari Simon, and their team are passionate about achieving justice for their clients. They treated me with respect and great reverence for the trauma that I faced. They were genuinely interested in my well being as a survivor. Throughout all steps of the process, they believed in me and encouraged me. They are true advocates for their clients. I am forever grateful for all that they have done for me. Their diligent work ethic and desire to lessen the burden on survivors has created a renewed hope for me as a survivor. My experience with Doug and Cari has even prompted me to apply for law school so that one day I might also be able to help survivors fight these injustices."
- Jane Doe, Georgia

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Our clients have traveled paths that may be similar to the one you are presently on. They have valuable insights they are willing to share (including, of course, regarding our work). Many clients have become strong advocates, as a matter of necessity. Please feel free to inquire about this, and, where appropriate, we will gladly connect you to them, as they too are committed to offering their help and unique insight.