August 20, 2015

Tracey L. Mancini
Marketing Communications Manager
(716) 847-8340


The summit, titled “Preventing and Responding to Sexual Misconduct,” will feature keynote speaker Ernie Allen

Buffalo, N.Y. – Phillips Lytle LLP, a premier regional law firm that is recognized nationally for its legal excellence, will present an educational summit on the critical issue of sexual assault on college and university campuses. The day-long summit, “Preventing and Responding to Sexual Misconduct,” will be held at Phillips Lytle’s office in downtown Buffalo on Thursday, August 27th.

The Summit’s line-up will feature keynote speaker Ernie Allen. Mr. Allen is a leading global expert on the issues of child abduction, sexual exploitation, sexual violence and human trafficking, and is an advisor to governments, corporations and others. He will address the topic, “What Colleges and Universities Can Do Better When Responding to Sexual Violence.”

Mr. Allen founded and served as President and CEO of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children. He also created the national Missing Children’s hotline, the CyberTipline®, for reporting sexual exploitation and brought forensic services and training to law enforcement.

Phillips Lytle LLP has assembled a “Campus Accountability Team” of authorities who can assist leaders at higher education institutions. Representing a variety of experiences and perspectives, these individuals have expertise in issues related to sexual abuse and exploitation, crisis management, regulatory compliance and due process.

“With the rise of reports of sexual assaults on campuses, Phillips Lytle believes it is important for colleges and universities to have one trusted source to turn to for advice on prevention and response to on-campus issues,” said Kenneth A. Manning, Education Practice Team Leader, Phillips Lytle LLP. Mr. Manning will offer the opening remarks at the Summit.

The Summit will also feature Len Biegel, a widely recognized expert in public relations, reputation management, risk communication, crisis communications, training and management. His presentation is titled “Crisis Planning and Communicating: Lessons from the Toughest Crises.” He has counseled FORTUNE 500 corporations on crisis planning, prevention and response. He has played a key role in crafting the responses to some of the major crises in recent years, including the events of September 11, 2001.

Four Phillips Lytle attorneys will also present at the Summit:

  • Amanda L. Lowe, an attorney in the firm’s Buffalo office, will address “What To Do When a Sexual Assault Has Been Alleged.” Ms. Lowe has experience with investigations of Title IX and Clery Act violations, sexual assault, harassment and student/faculty misconduct, and in defending against inquiries from the Office of Civil Rights regarding allegations of noncompliance.
  • Linda T. Prestegaard, a Partner in the firm’s New York City, Buffalo and Rochester offices and Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Practice Team Leader, will join Michael L. McCabe, an attorney in the firm’s Buffalo office, to discuss “A Case Study in Implementing Investigation Best Practices.” Ms. Prestegaard provides training on avoiding sexual and other harassment, and conducts investigations. Mr. McCabe is formally trained in forensic interviewing techniques and investigative strategies in sexual abuse cases.
  • Ian K. Portnoy, Senior Counsel in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, will lead an open forum Q&A session to close the summit. Mr. Portnoy provides advice concerning the institutional reputational ramifications of student and staff actions and advises executive officers and boards on policies and procedures.

The problem of sexual violence on campuses has exploded into the public consciousness. Institutions are paying a high price for not having a credible system in place, including public embarrassment and civil liability. This summit will educate school communities about policies and procedures, proper investigations and comprehensive training as well as compassionate, fair responses when incidents do occur.

Phillips Lytle LLP is a premier regional law firm that is recognized nationally for its legal excellence. With offices across New York State and in Chicago, IL; Washington, D.C.; and Canada, our attorneys serve a multinational client base, including FORTUNE 1000 companies, global and regional financial institutions, not-for-profit organizations, middle-market companies, startups, entrepreneurs and individuals on important matters affecting their businesses and personal wealth. For more information, visit