Christine M. Pickel
609-396-8257 x305 phone
With over fifteen years of experience, including a decade at an Am-Law 200 firm, Ms. Pickel conducts investigations, serves as a Title IX hearing officer, advises on issues of regulatory compliance, defends clients in litigation, and serves as outside counsel on corporate issues.
Higher Education Experience
Ms. Pickel conducts investigations on a wide range of issues, including allegations of sexual assault and harassment under Title IX, and complaints of workplace discrimination, violence and bullying. She works with higher education institutions to draft policies related to Title IX, Title VI, Title VII, the Clery Act, VAWA, and FERPA. She provides customized training to university personnel on these policies, including Title IX investigator and advisor training. Ms. Pickel also counsels clients on issues involving employee discipline and reasonable accommodations under the ADA.
On the forefront of the new rules for Title IX hearings, Ms. Pickel has conducted some of the first Title IX hearings under the 2020 regulations. Other representative engagements include:
- Serving as Interim Assistant Vice-President of Equity & Diversity/Title IX Coordinator at a large New Jersey university, where responsibilities included oversight of Title IX, Title VI and employment discrimination investigations, drafting and implementation of harassment and discrimination policies, evaluation of requests for accommodations under the ADA, and advising on Clery Act-related issues.
- Working with a multi-disciplinary team to respond to broad-ranging allegations of Clery Act violations by the Department of Education against a large Pennsylvania university.
As a skilled litigator, Ms. Pickel regularly represents entities and individuals facing claims for breach of contract, negligence, and bullying in the K-12 context. Ms. Pickel’s background in complex commercial litigation, appellate practice, and white-collar criminal defense provides a broad base of experience for analyzing and resolving each new matter her clients encounter. Ms. Pickel has litigated dozens of long-term disability and life insurance claims under ERISA in federal court. She has represented clients in matters before the Appellate Division on issues including charitable immunity and employment discrimination.
Outside Counsel Experience
Ms. Pickel serves as outside counsel to corporations, including religious and educational entities, on matters including entity formation and dissolution, contract drafting and negotiation, policy development, employment law, and real estate issues. She provides day-to-day advice focusing on risk assessment and reduction, responding to subpoenas and threatened litigation, student / employee discipline, discrimination complaints, breach of contract, charitable gifts, policy and procedure, and federal and state reporting requirements.
Ms. Pickel has been a frequent contributor to various publications on topics ranging from regulatory compliance, criminal law, and litigation strategy to best practices for reducing conflicts of interest and conducting internal investigations.
Bar Admissions and Affiliations:
District of New Jersey
Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Third Circuit Court of Appeals
New Jersey Bar Association
National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)
Education and Clerkships:
Law Clerk for the Supreme Court of New Jersey (Justice James R. Zazzali, ret’d), 2004-2005
J.D., with high honors, Rutgers University School of Law – Camden, 2004
B.A., with honors, The College of New Jersey, 2001