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The Law & Education

Feb 13, 2020

Courtney talks with Doug Fierberg whose legal team at the Fierberg National Law Group focuses on and is dedicated to representing families, survivors and others in lawsuits and other legal proceedings nationwide involving fraternity hazing, sexual assault, Title IX violations, gun violence, serious personal injury, wrongful death and other misconduct in schools. Most notably in recent Title IX litigation, Doug’s team represents Max Gruver’s family in a wrongful death case against LSU using a novel approach to the deliberate indifference theory.

In this episode, you will also hear about their criteria for deciding to represent someone, the difference between proving negligence and deliberate indifference on the part of a school, how lawyers and courts can effectuate social and institutional change and his view of the striking safety discrepancies between fraternities and sororities.  Title IX professionals and lawyers in this area will want to tune in to this episode!


Key Points From This Episode:

  • The evolution of Fierberg National Law Group and its expanding team.
  • Doug’s passion for representing young people who suffer a personal injury or wrongful death.
  • His experience representing the families of victims of the well-known Virginia Tech shooting.
  • Knowing that he wanted to be a trial attorney when graduating from law school.
  • Criteria for accepting a case and the two main factors that are considered.
  • Thoughts on Title IX cases and the requirements for a case against a school to be viable.
  • Distinguishing between negligence and deliberate indifference on the part of the school.
  • Considering how the deliberate indifference of the institution contributed to the incident.
  • Financial compensation versus creating institutional change.
  • An example of how lawyers have been able to use the justice system for social change.
  • His view that fraternities are significantly more dangerous to members than sororities.
  • What his team learned about LSU’s approach to hazing in the case of Max Gruver.
  • Using litigation to force LSU and other universities to take hazing issues seriously.
  • The common “boys will be boys” response to allegations of sexual misconduct and hazing.
  • One of Doug’s biggest losses based on an unjust trial court.
  • Doug's primary function in the context of the tragic cases he deals with.



“We’re very particular in terms of what we take. We do not have the firepower to take anything that just walks into the door anymore. We are looking for cases that will have an impact on the law and a serious impact for our clients.” — @tfnlgroup [0:13:35]

“That’s a far higher standard than negligence, which is essentially making a mistake. This means that the school had to have some knowledge of what was going on, and the consequences of acting or not acting, and then be deliberately indifferent to those circumstances.” — @tfnlgroup [0:16:43]

 “It’s positive that the law and remedies are continuing to develop for young people so that schools are headed towards becoming safer and less fraught with sexual harassment and violence.” — @tfnlgroup [0:25:11]


Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Doug Fierberg

Fierberg National Law Group

Fierberg National Law Group on Twitter

Title IX University

Hot Topics in Title IX Conference

Upcoming Webinars

The Law and Higher Ed Podcast

Courtney Bullard on Twitter

Courtney Bullard on LinkedIn

Institutional Compliance Solutions

Rolling Stone

Virginia Tech Shooting

Louisiana State University