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As a member of the firm’s Government Law & Regulatory Affairs, Internal Investigations, Title IX, and Scientific Misconduct Groups, Brionna counsels corporations, educational institutions, non-profit groups, and other entities that are faced with allegations of wrongdoing. She draws on her experience both in the government and in the private sector to help her clients successfully navigate complex investigations and disputes resulting in legally defensible decisions. Brionna is an ATIXA-certified Level One Civil Rights Investigator.

Before joining Cohen Seglias, Brionna served as a Deputy Attorney General for the Delaware Department of Justice in the Civil Division, Defensive Litigation Unit, and in the Office of Civil Rights and Public Trust. As a Deputy Attorney General, she handled complex, long term investigations into government corruption, financial fraud, voter fraud, and campaign finance violations from the initial allegation through resolution. She also previously worked in the New Castle County Law Department, serving as counsel to the Code Enforcement Division, Police Division, and Community Services Department.

Oprah Winfrey’s primetime television interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, revealed deep issues within the workings of a historic institution, one we only read about in books or watch on fictional shows like “The Crown.” While the former senior members of the royal family were talking about their feelings and treatment under the backdrop of family dynamics, they were also discussing a monarchy with an institutional framework that can best be compared to a corporate workplace. References to their family as “the firm” and “going to HR” for assistance were phrases used by Harry and Meghan when discussing the institution.

Continue Reading Handling Allegations of Racism in the Workplace—Would Your Company Have Done Better Than the Palace?

Less than 50 days into his presidency, President Biden signed an executive order on March 8, 2021, directing the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to conduct a review of the controversial Title IX regulations (the Rules) that were spearheaded by the previous Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, to determine if they align with the policies of the Biden administration.

This executive order signals the importance of Title IX to the new administration. President Biden’s directive in the executive order demonstrates that his administration is taking steps to dismantle policies, regulations, and agency actions put in place by the Trump Administration that do not align with his policies and goals.


Continue Reading Changes Ahead: Title IX Regulations Revisited by Biden Administration

Despite 18 attorneys general, including Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, and Washington, DC, vigorously challenging the substance of the new Title IX Regulations (the Final Rule) and its August 14 effective date by filing a Motion for Preliminary Injunction, two days before the regulations were set to take effect, federal District Court Judge Carl Nichols issued an opinion denying the injunction.

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) released an unofficial version of the Final Rules on May 6, 2020, requiring colleges, universities, and public school districts to comply with the new regulations by August 14, 2020. Many schools had to conduct wholesale revisions of their existing Title IX policies, procedures, supporting forms, and training to conform to the new federal regulations while handling unpredictable challenges and swift modifications to school operations resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. A number of organizations filed a brief in support of the attorneys general’s motion. The American Council on Education and 60 higher education groups also opposed the new regulations, echoing the concerns of the attorneys general and characterizing the regulations’ effective date as “cruel” and “counterproductive” in light of the pandemic.


Continue Reading The Regulations Remain – Federal Judge Denies State AG’s Challenges to the New Title IX Regulations

While many individuals and organizations have provided commentary and criticism over the revised Title IX regulations (the Rules) released in early May amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, 18 states’ attorneys general have collaborated to file suit challenging the changes to the Rules. The suit filed on June 4, 2020, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia is believed to be the first to challenge the controversial revisions to the Title IX regulations. The lawsuit is led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, and New Jersey Attorney General Gubir Grewal. Additional state attorneys general that signed on to the suit include Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C.

Continue Reading State Attorneys General First to Formally Challenge New Title IX Regulations

This week, the United States Department of Education (DOE) announced a new Title IX enforcement initiative led by the DOE’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to combat the rise of sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual misconduct, and sexual violence incidents occurring in elementary and secondary (K-12) public schools involving both student-on-student and staff-on-student incidents.

OCR is an enforcement arm of the United States Department of Education which enforces a number of civil rights laws in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. “Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), 20 U.S.C §§ 1681 et seq., prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities operated by recipients of federal financial assistance. Title IX’s prohibition of discrimination includes sexual harassment and assault, which interferes with students’ rights to receive an education free from discrimination on the basis of sex.” [1]


Continue Reading New Title IX Enforcement Initiative to Address Sexual Misconduct in K-12 Public Schools