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July 2017

New York Partner Mercedes Colwin Featured Moderator at Second Annual Title IX ExecuSummit Conference

Mercedes Colwin, managing partner of Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani's New York office, will be a featured moderator at the Second Annual Title IX ExecuSummit Conference to be held on July 25-26, 2017 at the Mohegan Sun Hotel, Resort & Convention Center in Uncasville, CT. Colwin will moderate a panel discussion titled "How to Prevent a Title IX Lawsuit - Preventative Measures Universities Can Take." Panelists joining Colwin are Justin Dillon, partner at KaiserDillon PLLC, Patricia M. Hamill, partner at Conrad O'Brien PC, and Debbie Osgood, partner at Hogan Marren Babbo & Rose, LTD.

This comprehensive day and a half conference is designed for Title IX focused professionals and will feature distinguished presenters that will provide information essential to educators, risk managers, as well as insurance industry professionals who underwrite and handle claims for educational institutions.

Legal actions against educational institutions related to sexual misconduct are at an all time high with lawsuits spanning every topic from Title IX to due process, free speech and negligence. Far too often the country is taken by a media frenzy involving some form of college campus sexual misconduct.  Any behavior that disrupts a student’s access to an educational opportunity or benefit constitutes a violation of Title IX. The Washington Post reported on June 7, 2016, that nearly 100 colleges and universities had at least 10 reports of sexual violence and rape on their main campuses in 2014, according to federal campus safety data.  With statistics like this, how does a school balance the rights of the accuser and the accused in order to protect the rights of the students and avoid liability?  This program seeks to highlight these issues and enlighten those in the education community on how to mitigate risk to students as well as damage to the institution.

The Title IX ExecuSummit will provide attendees with insider tips and industry insight on the latest developments and trends tips essential for educational institutions to combat Title IX claims. Workshops run the gambit from building a Title IX team and employing proper reporting and investigation practices to defending high profile litigations.  The program will educate on topics such as how to respond to such reports, how to prevent these reports from happening, and how to mitigate the damage perceived by the public. This inaugural conference will provide attendees the strategic intelligence needed to help prevent your institution from becoming the nation’s next headline.

Gordon & Rees is a Platinum Sponsor of the Title IX ExecuSummit and the firm's New York office attorneys are actively involved in organization and presentations. Gordon & Rees Senior Counsel Misty D. Marris will be this year's conference co-chair.  

On Day 1 of the conference, Colwin will moderate "How to Prevent a Title IX Lawsuit – Preventative Measures Universities Can Take."

Also on July 25, Misty Marris will moderate a panel discussion "Walking the Tightrope – How to Balance the Rights of the Accuser and the Accused During an Investigation."

On July 26, associate Benjamin Levine will co-present "Lessons Learned from Baylor."

To register, please click here. You may view the full conference brochure here.


Mercedes Colwin is the Managing Partner of Gordon & Rees New York offices. She handles a wide variety of litigation including employment law, commercial litigation, products liability, civil rights violations and criminal law.  Ms. Colwin has successfully tried 49 cases to verdict in various jurisdictions throughout the nation and regularly defends executives from Fortune 500 companies charged with allegations of wrongdoing, including claims of sexual misconduct. Prior to entering private practice, Ms. Colwin devoted several years in the public sector where she was a gubernatorial appointee as an Administrative Law Judge for the New York State Division of Human Rights. During her nine year service, while a partner at a major regional New York Law firm, she presided over three-thousand cases under the Federal and State antidiscrimination laws. Forbes Business American Airlines named Ms. Colwin one of the six most influential women in America's list that included former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Notre Dame Law School also presented Ms. Colwin with the prestigious Graciela Olivarez Award for her outstanding achievement as a leading Hispanic lawyer of the highest ethical and moral standards who exemplifies commitment to community service. Additionally, she was selected as one of the “Nation's Most Powerful Employment Attorneys” by Human Resource Executive Magazine. Widely regarded as one of the top national legal analysts for the FOX News Network, she appears to discuss critical legal issues and high profile cases dominating the news.

Misty Marris is a litigation attorney who practices primarily in employment law and professional liability.  Marris’ vast courtroom experience along with her knowledge of various areas of law allows her to provide a strong defense to all of her clients.  In addition, Marris is a television and radio personality who serves as an independent legal analyst on of the moment legal issues on various national and local news programs including the Fox News Network, Fox Business Network, CNN, HLN, Crime Watch Daily, the Nancy Grace Show and Afternoons with Dr. Drew.  Ms. Marris discusses all aspects of a legal case and a variety of different legal areas with an emphasis on criminal issues, civil rights issues, litigation and trials.

Benjamin Levine focuses his practice primarily on complex litigation in the areas of sports, entertainment, employment, professional liability, and commercial law. Levine zealously advocates on behalf of a wide range of clients including professional athletes, NCAA Athletes, coaches, sports agents, employers, professionals, municipalities, and businesses.  Levine has experience involving some of the most high profile sports law matters of the recent past including successfully representing Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston in his Title IX case involving Florida State University.

Mercedes Colwin
Benjamin A. Levine
Misty D. Marris