Landmark Settlement in Arizona State University Title IX Rape Case

Firm partners Kerr and Hult announced the settlement of J.K. v. Arizona Board of Regents in January 2009. On the eve of trial in Phoenix federal court, the case settled for the second highest monetary payment in the history of Title IX sexual assault litigation (the largest settlement, in Simpson v. University of Colorado, was also obtained by the firm) plus historic statewide reforms. The Arizona Board of Regents committed to the five year appointment of a student safety czar with authority over sexual assault, harassment, and gender equity issues and proceedings on all public campuses in the state, enhancing the safety of some 123,000 students.

The case settled after Kerr and Hult obtained a precedent-setting opinion from District Judge Mary Murghia in federal court in Phoenix denying motions by the university and former ASU head football coach Dirk Koetter, and indicating severe sanctions were likely against the university for destroying key evidence in the case. The settlement drew widespread national attention, such as the ESPN story which can be found HERE, where a Harvard Law School expert called it "the turning point" for women's safety in college athletics.