On March 1, 2023, the NCAA officially welcomed its ninth president, Charlie Baker. The 66-year-old former governor of Massachusetts and private-sector CEO breaks the typical mold of college administrators at the helm of the organization, leaving commentators...
OVERVIEW & EXPERIENCE
Susan Stone is co-chair, along with Kristina Supler, of KJK’s Student & Athlete Defense/Title IX Practice Group. She and Kristina also co-chair the firm’s Criminal, Cyber & White-Collar Practice Group.
Susan’s life work is to help students in crisis and to meet their legal needs. Recognizing the need for legal services dedicated to protecting students, professors and individuals with disabilities, Susan C. Stone handles matters ranging from special education issues to student disciplinary matters and Title IX investigations. Susan has the knowledge and experience required to navigate due process complaints and the shaping of 504 Plans and Individualized Education Programs. She also handles student matters involving hazing, bullying and social media.
Susan Stone has gained a national reputation for representing student and professors in Title IX cases. She is routinely hired as a student advisor and Title IX attorney for the campus investigation and hearing phase of proceedings, and is also retained to handle subsequent university level appeals. Susan is certified in restorative justice, and has also guided students through informal resolution, including mediation and restorative justice. Susan’s talent as a student advisor has led to her representing Greek organizations and athletes, as well as other professionals accused of sexual harassment and misconduct. When cases do not resolve at the university level, she has experience fighting in state and federal courts around the country to obtain favorable outcomes for her clients.
Susan’s background in public relations and crisis communication led to her co-creation of the firm’s Reputation Management Practice. This practice assists clients in the rebuilding of their reputation online and on various social media platforms. Susan has also instituted defamation actions when necessary to stop her client’s professional and academic futures from being harmed by libelous postings on the internet.
Susan has a deep understanding of mental health and neurological disorders. She is particularly experienced working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which allows her to formulate creative defenses for those individuals with ASD and other co-morbidities facing discipline at school or being investigated by law enforcement. Susan is sensitive to the multiple challenges facing this growing population.
Given her experience representing individuals with mental health issues and the rise in students facing parallel criminal charges, Susan’s skills are frequently called upon in the criminal justice system. Susan partners with Kristina to represent adults and juveniles charged with crimes in the state and federal systems. Their clients have faced a variety of charges ranging from misdemeanors to high-level felonies.
Susan is a nationally published author and blogger on topics related to education law. She has lectured on subjects that vary from Twice Exceptional Students, FERPA and the handling of educational records, and how to determine when behavioral issues arise connected to students with disabilities. She has also spoken throughout the country at conferences on Title IX. In addition, Susan proudly co-hosts the podcast Real Talk with Susan and Kristina to discuss with outside guests cutting edge issues affecting students. Susan is regularly called upon by families and outside therapists to consult on legal matters affecting children. She was named Best Lawyers in America® Education Lawyer of the Year 2022.
- Working with our client and our team of mental healthcare professionals Susan and Kristina were able to help a student with ADHD, who had never before received accommodations on a standardized test, successfully appeal the denial of her disability accommodation request for the MCAT. Our client will now receive the extra time she deserves on this important professional entrance exam.
- Successfully prevailed in an expulsion hearing and kept student in school after serious allegations of misconduct.
- Obtained reversal of discipline sanction in housing misconduct matter.
- Successfully defended a pre-med undergraduate student for alleged cheating on a physics lab report and showed that the professor had made a critical error in basic mathematics.
- Won an appeal with the NCAA to allow a student to remove restriction on eligibility to play football.
- Successfully represented a professor who was falsely accused of violating Title IX by a graduate student and obtained a finding of not responsible for all allegations.
- Represented two students accused fraternal hazing; suspension avoided for both individuals.
- Achieved a result of not responsible in a case where a student was charged with sexual assault and sexual harassment.
- Successfully represented a graduate student who was charged with dating violence, intimidation, stalking and sexual harassment. The student was found to be not responsible for all counts.
- Represented a student charged with multiple Title IX policy violations resulting in a finding of not responsible.
- Successfully prevailed in a sexual misconduct hearing; student was found not responsible.
- Represented a student who was removed from a Veterinary Technician program following the college’s failure to accommodate the student’s disability. Susan and Kristina represented the student following this violation, resulting in the student being reinstated with permission to complete the certification.
- Negotiated no disciplinary action for a student accused of discriminatory harassment.
- Represented a student accused of physical intimidation and assault who was facing expulsion from their respective university, the case concluded with the student reinstated and no adverse marks on their disciplinary or academic record.
- Successfully defended a student accused of Title IX non-consensual sexual intercourse; student deemed not responsible, and the case was dismissed.
- Defended a juvenile who was facing expulsion and legal repercussions for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia on school grounds; effectively reversed the expulsion and achieved dismissal of all charges.
- Successfully represented a collegiate athlete accused of hazing; the student athlete was able to avoid suspension and expulsion.
- Represented a student athlete accused of sexual assault and relationship violence resulting in the successful appeal of the student’s interim suspension. The student athlete was able to return to the team, participate in graduation and attend classes.
- After a lengthy multi-day hearing, Susan and Kristina were able to achieve a finding of not responsible for their client who was accused of sexual contact without consent.
- Represented multiple student complainants who were the victims of sexual assault and dating violence, resulting in a finding of responsibility against the defendants.
- Successfully defended a student athlete accused of cheating on a final examination resulting in a finding of not responsible.
AWARDS & PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS
- The Best Lawyers in America, Education Law, 2022 – 2024
- Selected To Ohio Super Lawyers, 2021– 2023
- Best Lawyers in America® Education Lawyer of the Year 2022
- Avvo Top Rated Lawyer, 2022
- Ohio State Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates
- Cleveland Academy of Trial Attorneys
- Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
- Families Advocating for Campus Equality
- Stop Abusive & Violent Environments
- Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
- Certified Positive Discipline Educator
- Society of Women Trial Lawyers
BAR / COURT ADMISSIONS
- New Jersey
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
- U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
- Judge halts U of C senior’s removal from student housing, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Nov. 11, 2022
- Was This Professor Fired for having Tourette Syndrome?, The Nation, Nov. 2022
- LSU could be experiencing increased sexual assaults during a six-week period known as the Red Zone, LSU Reveille, Sep. 2021
- No Shelter From Trouble For Students During Quarantine, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal, April 2021
- Stone & Supler Discuss LSU Case With USA Today, USA Today, June 19, 2020
- A suspended LSU football player files a federal lawsuit against the university, Louisiana Radio Network, June 19, 2020
- Former LSU football player suing to be reinstated to team, 24/7 Sports, June 18, 2020
- Stone & Supler Discuss LSU Player’s Case With ESPN, ESPN, June 18, 2020
- Stone & Supler Speak With The Advocate Regarding LSU Football Player’s Case, The Advocate, June 18, 2020
- Susan Stone and Kristina Supler interviewed about the future of education in the COVID-19 era and beyond, For the Defense With Brad Koffel, May, 17, 2020
- Susan Stone and Kristina Supler interviewed about #MeToo showdown at Harvard, Law & Crime Network, Jan. 17, 2020
- Susan Stone interviewed about “unfair” process her client went through with Harvard, Harvard Crimson, Nov. 7, 2019
- Susan Stone and Kristina Supler interviewed for “Brian Ross Investigates” piece, “Has ‘MeToo’ Gone Too Far?”, Law & Crime Network, Sept. 26, 2019
- Susan Stone and Kristina Supler interviewed about the “Red Zone” and sexual assault on campus, Fox 8 News, Sept. 6, 2019
- Susan Stone and Kristina Supler interviewed regarding investigation into UNC women’s basketball program, CNN.com, April 2, 2019
- Susan Stone and Kristina Supler interviewed about plea bargaining in sexual assault cases following plea deal in Baylor University rape case, CNN.com, Dec.18, 2018
- Susan Stone and Kristina Supler interviewed regarding Urban Meyer suspension at The Ohio State University, 97.1 The Fan Sports Radio, Columbus, Aug. 23, 2018
- Susan Stone and Kristina Supler interviewed related to case obtaining TRO for client to play football in college, Associated Press coverage, Sept. 15, 2017
PRESENTATIONS & PUBLICATIONS
Selected Speaking Engagements
- ADHD and Student Discipline: From Kindergarten Through College, CHADD Annual International Conference on ADHD (Dallas, TX), Nov. 19, 2022
- Understanding Sexuality and ASD: Considerations for College Students on the Autism Spectrum, ATIXA (Orlando, FL), Oct. 19, 2022
- A Comparative Analysis: Sexual Assault Cases in Court & on Campus, NACDL 2021 Annual Defending Sex Cases Training Seminar, Nov. 18, 2021
- Representing Juveniles and Young Adults in Educational and Delinquency Proceedings, William K. Thomas Inn of Court, Nov. 10, 2021
- Help! My kids is getting in trouble at school and with the law. What do I do? – State Support Team Region 2’s Virtual Transition Fair, April 29, 2021
- Healthy Sex Lives in College: How to Deal with Impulsivity, The 2020 Virtual International Conference on ADHD, Nov. 7, 2020
- Title IX: What Due Process Looks Like Now, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, May 27, 2020
- Consent When the Bee Stings, Indiana University, March 26, 2020
- Avoiding Title IX Allegations During Internships; Coronavirus, Kent State University, March 19, 2020
- College Concerns: Helping Students With Disabilities Transition to College and Navigate Campus Disciplinary Proceedings, COPAA National Conference, (Baltimore, MD), March 8, 2020
- Don’t Rush In: The New Conversation Around Sex and Consent On Campus, Fraternal Law Conference (Cincinnati, Ohio), Nov. 7, 2019
- Changing the Conversation Around Sex & Consent, KJK College Kick-Off (Columbus, OH), Sep. 12, 2019
- 504 Plan Eligibility and Accommodation Best Practices, National Business Institute (Cleveland, OH), Sep. 12, 2019
- College Concerns: Helping Students with ASD Navigate Campus Discipline Issues, 2019 Milestones National Autism Conference (Cleveland, OH), June 12, 2019
- Defending Students in Title IX Proceedings, LACDL’s Jazz Fest (New Orleans), April 25, 2019
- Cyberbullying and Threats: School Authority and Liability, National Business Institute (Westlake, OH), Feb. 2019
- The 8th Annual FACE Meet and Greet Private Weekend Event, FACE – Families Advocating for Campus Equality(Cincinnati, OH), Nov. 2018
- Title IX and Affirmative Action, Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer Inn of Courts (Columbus,OH), Nov. 2018
- Parallel Proceedings in Sexual Assault Cases: Finding Evidence and Avoiding Incrimination, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Nov. 2018
- How #MeToo and Title IX have Changed Campus Culture, Meritas Webinar, Sep. 2018
- Forum on Higher Education: Crisis on Campus (Statesville, NC), The National Coalition for Men Carolinas, Aug. 2018
- Title IX for Criminal Defense Lawyers – Common Mistakes and Creative Strategies, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, July 2018
- Handling the School Investigative Process, Fourth Annual Symposium on Representing Students Accused of Sexual Assault, March 2018
- Manifestation Determination Reviews (MDRs): Did the Disability Cause the Behavior?, Special Education Law: The Ultimate Guide, March 2018
- National Business Institute, School Law: Social Media and Apps, Cyberbullying, Privacy and other Technology Issues, Feb. 2018
- National Business Institute, Student Records: Legal Requirements You Need to Know (FERPA), Dec. 2017
- Restorative Justice – a better alternative to the Title IX Hearing Process, Title IX ExecuSummit, July 2017
- A School of Options: How an attorney and advocate can open doors to new services for your child, International Dyslexia Association of Northern Ohio, Notre Dame College, Nov. 2016
- How to Prevent a Title IX Lawsuit, Title IX ExecuSummit, July 2016
- Women in Leadership, Cleveland Jewish News, Eton, Feb. 2016
- Wrongful Imprisonment Settlement Interview, WEWS, Feb. 2016
- Top 10 Tips for Parents, Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities, Independence Civic Theater, Nov. 2014
- IEP Process – Protecting your Child’s Rights in School, Protecting your Special Needs Child, South Pointe Hospital, Oct. 2012
Selected Articles and Publications
- Lessons for Parents About the Risks Their Children Face on Social Media, Smart Business Magazine, Feb. 2018
- Restorative justice Conflict resolution program could be used to resolve workplace issues, Smart Business Magazine, Oct. 2017
- Ohio’s Campus Disruption Act: Students beware, Crain’s Cleveland Business, April 2017
- Swimming in Difference Ponds Navigating the Criminal and Civil Aspects of Campus Sexual Misconduct Proceedings, Bar Journal of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, September 2016
- Drinking in college can lead to Title IX charges, Cleveland Jewish News, Aug. 2016
- Do’s and don’ts of social media, SHE In The CLE, April 2016
- Understanding Alphabet Soup: A Guide to the Special Education Process, Northeast Ohio Parent LiveSpecial Resource Guide, Summer 2015
- Title IX: Addressing Sexual Discrimination and Violence in Schools, Law You Can Use, Ohio State Bar Association, July 2015