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Civil Rights and Title IX

We represent individuals in lawsuits against government entities such as police departments, law enforcement, government agencies, colleges and universities, and against private entities for violations of civil rights laws, constitutional protections, and discrimination and harassment.

We also represent students and faculty of California K-12 institutions, post-secondary schools, colleges and universities in state, federal, and administrative proceedings for sexual harassment, gender discrimination, sexual violence and abuse, and wrongful termination. We provide dedicated and effective counsel and representation for our clients and take each case with an eye towards litigation through trial, if necessary.

Our goal is to help students and faculty remedy sexual harassment and discrimination on California campuses, build better and more welcoming educational institutions through our efforts, and to secure monetary and other relief for our clients. We will not stop until we secure the best possible outcome for our clients, no matter the obstacles.

Some of our practice areas are outlined below:

  • Title IX Investigations representation for all parties
  • Discrimination in housing and employment based on disability, age, race, national origin, etc.
  • Section 1983 Wrongful Death/ Police Misconduct
  • Sexual harassment at work/ in education
  • Federal litigation of violations of Title IX Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination
  • Federal and State litigation of violations of California’s Education Code, and State and Federal Education laws
  • US Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, Representation of students and faculty in Complaints and Investigations

Title IX is a federal law prohibiting sex-based discrimination in any educational program receiving federal funding. In California, this translates to most public and private K-12 schools and educational institutions, colleges, and universities. Here’s a breakdown of key points:

  • Core Protection: Title IX protects against discrimination based on sex, which includes sexual harassment (including violence). This applies to students and employees regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • California Strengthens Protections: California has additional laws that build on Title IX. For instance, a state law requires a specific definition of consent (“Yes Means Yes”) in college sexual violence policies.
  • Focus on Safe Environment: Schools must create a safe learning environment free from sex discrimination. This includes comprehensive training for staff handling sexual harassment/violence complaints.
  • Equal Access: Title IX prohibits discrimination in areas beyond sexual harassment. This includes equal access to programs, activities, and facilities for all students regardless of sex (including pregnancy and parental status).
  • Reporting Requirements: Schools must have procedures for reporting and investigating complaints of sex discrimination. They must also provide impartial grievance processes for those who feel they’ve been discriminated against.

Overall, Title IX, combined with California state laws, aims to ensure California colleges and universities provide a fair and equitable environment where all students can succeed.

Title IX Investigations

Facing a Title IX investigation at your California college or university? Navigating the complexities of these processes can be stressful. Ensure your rights are protected with Knutson Law Office’s legal expertise.

What is Title IX?

Title IX is a federal law prohibiting sex-based discrimination in educational institutions receiving federal funding. In California, this applies to most colleges and universities. It protects students from sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other forms of sex discrimination. California law further strengthens these protections.

Reporting Requirements:

  • Schools must have clear procedures for reporting Title IX complaints. These procedures should be easy to find and understand.
  • You have the right to report confidential concerns to a “responsible employee” who is then obligated to report.
  • Time is of the essence. While some flexibility exists, reporting promptly strengthens your case.


  • Schools must conduct a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation.
  • An investigator will gather evidence, interview witnesses, and review relevant documents.
  • You have the right to be informed of the investigation process and your rights throughout.
  • An experienced attorney can ensure your voice is heard and all evidence is considered.

Don’t navigate this alone! Knutson Law Offices can:

  • Help you understand your rights and options under Title IX.
  • Guide you through the reporting process.
  • Advocate for you during the investigation.
  • Ensure fair treatment throughout the process.

Contact Knutson Law Offices today for a consultation. Protect your rights and future.

Facing a Flawed Title IX Investigation? We Can Help.

Title IX protects students from sexual harassment and gender discrimination in educational institutions. But what happens when the school itself mishandles the investigation? Many students face unfair investigations lacking proper procedures or due process. At Knutson Law Offices, we help students ensure their rights are protected during Title IX investigations.

Common Grounds for Title IX Lawsuits:

  • Failure to Investigate: Schools have a legal obligation to investigate complaints promptly and thoroughly. If a school ignores or inadequately investigates your complaint, you may have a case.
  • Unfair Bias: Investigations should be impartial. If you feel the investigation is biased against you or favors the other party, you may have grounds for legal action.
  • Lack of Due Process: The accused in a Title IX case deserves fair treatment, including the right to be informed of the allegations, present evidence, and respond to the charges. If these rights are violated, you may have a lawsuit.
  • Wrongful Outcome: Even with a flawed investigation, the school may reach the wrong conclusion. If the outcome of the investigation unfairly harms you, an attorney can help challenge the decision.

California Strengthens Protections: In addition to Title IX, California has its own laws that strengthen student protections. Our firm stays up-to-date on these evolving legal landscapes.

Don’t Let a Flawed Investigation Define Your Future.

If you’ve been subjected to a Title IX investigation that feels unfair or biased, don’t hesitate to seek legal counsel. Knutson Law Offices can help:

  • Understand your rights and options under Title IX.
  • Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
  • Advocate for a fair and impartial investigation.
  • Challenge a wrongful outcome, if necessary.

Contact Knutson Law Offices Today for a Consultation. Protect your rights and ensure a fair outcome in your Title IX case.

Conservatorship and Elder Law Litigation

Our firm represents individuals and families seeking to prepare estate plans and protections for themselves, their families, and their childrens’ future. We also represent individuals and families in conservatorship of the person and estate petitions to gain custody over the person and assets of disabled or elderly individuals who can no longer provide for their own personal care or welfare or resist fraud or undue influence over their assets, thereby protecting these vulnerable family members.

We represent individuals and families seeking elder abuse restraining orders to protect their elderly and disabled family members, and in civil elder abuse lawsuits and temporary protective actions against individuals accused of abuse. We also represent individuals in limited and mental health LPS conservatorship petitions both to obtain appointment as conservators and to defend against the appointment of conservators if necessary.

Safeguarding Your Loved Ones: Conservatorship Law and Elder Abuse Protection in California

At the Knutson Law Offices, we understand the challenges families face when caring for elderly loved ones. California law offers conservatorship as a legal tool to protect those who can no longer manage their own affairs. However, elder abuse is a serious concern, and legal action may be necessary.

Some of our practice areas are outlined below:

  • Conservatorship litigation
  • Elder Abuse and Fraud Civil Litigation
  • Medicare and Social Security Litigation and Counsel
  • Nursing Home Abuse and Litigation
  • Powers of attorney and revocable trusts administration
  • Power of attorney and estate litigation
  • Probate and estate litigation
  • Social Security Disability Insurance Administrative Law Judge hearings and appeals
  • Supplemental Security Income hearings and appeals
  • Social Security Trial Work Periods and Overpayments
  • Social Security Benefits negotiations and appeals
  • Widows/ers Benefits negotiations and appeals

Conservatorship in California

A conservatorship is a court-ordered arrangement where someone (conservator) is appointed to make decisions for another person (conservatee) who is deemed incapable of caring for themselves or their finances. There are two main types:

  • Conservator of the Person: Makes decisions regarding healthcare, living arrangements, and personal well-being.
  • Conservator of the Estate: Manages the conservatee’s finances, including paying bills and investing assets.

Petitions for Appointment of Conservator

Our firm can guide you through the complex process of petitioning the court to establish a conservatorship. This includes:

  • Assessing the Need: Evaluating whether a conservatorship is truly necessary and the appropriate type.
  • Gathering Evidence: Documenting the conservatee’s incapacity to manage their affairs.
  • Drafting and Filing Petitions: Preparing legal documents to initiate the conservatorship process.
  • Representing You in Court: Advocating for your position before a judge.

Elder Abuse Protection

Unfortunately, elder abuse is a prevalent issue. California law defines elder abuse as any physical, emotional, or financial harm inflicted on an elder (aged 65 or older). Our firm can help you:

  • Recognize Signs of Abuse: We can guide you on identifying potential red flags, such as unexplained financial changes, social isolation, or physical injuries.
  • Explore Legal Options: Depending on the situation, you may have grounds for a lawsuit against the abuser (often a caregiver or family member) to seek compensation for damages.
  • Navigate Restraining Orders: In severe cases, a restraining order may be necessary to protect the elder from further harm.

Protecting Your Loved Ones’ Future

Knutson Law Offices is committed to helping families navigate the legal complexities of conservatorship and elder abuse. We can provide compassionate and experienced guidance through every step of the process.

Contact Us Today for a Consultation. Let’s discuss how we can protect your loved ones and ensure their well-being.

Landlord-Tenant and Real Estate

We represent commercial and residential tenants in eviction defense litigation, habitability lawsuits against landlords, nuisance and tenant harassment lawsuits against landlords, wrongful eviction lawsuits, premises liability lawsuits against landlords, and retaliation/discrimination lawsuits.

We also represent commercial and residential landlords in justified and fair eviction, nuisance, and negligence/property damage lawsuits against tenants and other types of affirmative lawsuits against tenants, as well as in defense of unjust lawsuits against landlords. Finally, we take on real estate quiet title lawsuits, purchase and sale disputes, real estate nuisance lawsuits, boundary disputes, broker disputes, and other real estate lawsuits.

Some of our practice areas are outlined below:

  • Commercial Real Estate Litigation
  • Habitability lawsuits and quiet enjoyment
  • Lease Negotiation and Drafting
  • Wrongful Eviction
  • Landlord/ Tenant Lawsuits
  • Residential Real Estate Eviction
  • Residential buyouts
  • Commercial eviction lawsuits

California’s Tenant Protections: Shield Yourself from Unfair Eviction and Harassment

Facing eviction or harassment as a tenant in California? Knutson Law Offices can help you navigate the complexities of California’s tenant protection laws.

California’s Strong Tenant Protections:

California law offers some of the strongest tenant protections in the nation, including:

  • Just Cause Eviction: Landlords generally need a “just cause” reason to evict a tenant who has lived there for more than 12 months. These reasons can include non-payment of rent, violating the lease agreement, or creating a nuisance.
  • Eviction Notice Requirements: Landlords must follow strict procedures for providing written notice to tenants, outlining the specific reason for eviction and the timeframe to respond.
  • Local Just Cause Ordinances: Many California cities and counties have enacted even stricter “just cause” ordinances that offer additional protections to tenants. Our firm stays up-to-date on these local regulations.
  • Anti-Harassment Laws: It’s illegal for landlords to harass tenants in an attempt to pressure them to move out. Harassment can include tactics like repeated threats, cutting off essential services, or creating a hostile living environment.

Our Firm Can Help You:

  • Understand Your Rights: We’ll explain the eviction process and your rights under California and local just cause ordinances.
  • Evaluate Your Situation: We’ll assess the eviction notice and determine if it complies with state and local laws.
  • Fight Unlawful Eviction: If the eviction lacks just cause, we can help you explore options to stay in your home.
  • Negotiate with Landlords: We can negotiate with your landlord to reach a fair resolution, potentially avoiding court.
  • Represent You in Court: If necessary, we will advocate for your rights in court proceedings.

Don’t Face Eviction Alone!

California’s tenant protection laws can be complex. Knutson Law Offices can be your knowledgeable guide through this challenging time.

Contact Us Today for a Consultation. Let’s discuss your situation and develop a strategy to protect your right to safe and secure housing.

Probate and Estate Law

Our firm represents individuals and families, heirs, beneficiaries, administrators, executors, trustees, and objectors in petitions for probate administration, probate proceedings to distribute an estate, estate proceedings to require transfer/conveyance of real property, estate litigation, and trust and probate administration generally. We are skilled and experienced in this area, having litigated dozens of these probate proceedings, petitions, and lawsuits over the years.

Probate and estate disputes between family members and heirs are some of the most stressful and costly disputes a person can face in the course of their lives. The mental and emotional toll of fighting with family over inheritance rights, not to mention the thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees and court costs, can be too much to handle. At Knutson Law Offices, we take on these cases with an eye towards resolution in the most cost-effective, efficient, and graceful manner possible. We always litigate and fight hard for our clients to achieve the best possible outcome.

Some of our practice areas are included below:

  • Probate and estate litigation

California Inheritance Battles: Protecting Your Fair Share with Experienced Legal Counsel

Unfortunately, after a family member passes away, disputes often arise between family members or beneficiaries of an estate . At Knutson Law Offices, we understand the emotional and legal challenges of probate, estate litigation, and inheritance lawsuits in California.

California Probate Petitions:

  • Navigating the Process: When someone passes away with a will, probate court oversees the process of validating the will, identifying and valuing assets, settling debts, and distributing remaining assets to beneficiaries. Filing a petition for probate is typically the first step. We can guide you through this process efficiently and accurately.

Estate Litigation:

  • Disputes Arise: Disagreements about the validity of a will, the handling of assets, or the rightful beneficiaries can lead to estate litigation. Our firm can represent you in court to fight for your fair share of the estate, whether you’re a beneficiary challenging the will or an executor defending its terms.

Inheritance Lawsuits:

  • Beyond Probate: Sometimes, inheritance disputes require separate lawsuits. These can involve claims of:
    • Breach of Fiduciary Duty: If the executor or trustee mismanaged assets or failed to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries.
    • Undue Influence: If someone pressured the deceased into changing their will through coercion or manipulation.
    • Intestacy: When someone dies without a will, state law dictates inheritance, but disputes can arise about rightful heirs.

We Can Help You:

  • Evaluate Your Options: We’ll analyze your situation and advise you on the best course of action, whether it’s filing a petition for probate, initiating estate litigation, or pursuing an inheritance lawsuit.
  • Mediate Disputes: We can explore alternative dispute resolution methods to reach a mutually agreeable outcome whenever possible.
  • Advocate for Your Interests: In court, we’ll aggressively represent your rights and strive to secure the inheritance you deserve.

Protecting Your Inheritance Rights

California inheritance law can be intricate. Knutson Law Offices can be your trusted legal partner throughout the probate, estate litigation, or inheritance lawsuit process.

Contact Us Today for a Consultation. Let’s discuss your specific situation and develop a strategy to ensure you receive your rightful inheritance.

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