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Gina Maisto Smith

Gina Maisto Smith is a partner in the Education Counseling, Litigation and Investigation Services and White Collar Litigation and Investigations Groups of Pepper Hamilton LLP, and a resident in the Philadelphia office.

Ms. Smith has a national practice focused on the institutional response to all aspects of sexual misconduct matters. She serves as an expert on the education, prevention and training subcommittee of the U.S. Department of Education’s Negotiated Rulemaking Committee for the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (Campus SaVE Act).

Prior to joining Pepper, Ms. Smith was a partner with Ballard Spahr in Philadelphia. Prior to that, she spent nearly two decades in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office where she investigated numerous cases, handled more than 100 jury trials, and developed unmatched experience in the investigation and prosecution of sex crimes, child abuse and domestic violence. She also trained prosecutors, investigators, and police in handling the most difficult aspects of sex crimes, child abuse and domestic violence investigations.

Ms. Smith is frequently called upon to advise colleges and universities about sexual misconduct policies, changes in the law, and investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct, including sexual violence. She regularly conducts policy audits and assists in the development of policy and in the design and implementation of internal and external operating procedures. She conducts training for multiple university constituencies, including Title IX coordinators, sexual assault response teams, judicial hearing boards, investigators, and members of the campus community.

Ms. Smith also helps clients integrate the requirements of all federal, state, and local regulations (including Title IX and the Department of Education’s Dear Colleague Letter of April 4, 2011, the Clery Act, Campus SaVE, criminal law, HIPAA, and FERPA) with their policies and procedures. She also assists with conducting sexual misconduct investigations.

Ms. Smith’s depth in child abuse investigation and prosecution enables her to assist clients in meeting their child protective services compliance requirements. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia hired her to conduct a review of cases and internal procedures following a grand jury indictment of several priests accused of sexual abuse.

Ms. Smith is a frequent lecturer on issues related to the institutional response to sexual misconduct. Her speaking engagements include:

  • “Making the Connection between Student Needs and Federal Requirements;” “Title IX Investigator Training;” “Coordination with Law Enforcement;” and “Advanced Issues in Title IX,” Not In Our State, Billings, Montana (September 19-20, 2014)
  • “The Integrated and Coordinated Response to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence,” Association of American Universities, Vice President for Student Affairs, Conversation on Sexual Misconduct, Los Angeles, California (September 21-22, 2014)
  • “Title IX/Clery/Campus SaVE Act: The Ever-Evolving Framework for Campus Responses,” CUPIC 2014 Conference, Fairfax, VA (August 5, 2014)
  • “Managing Title IX Risk Through Consistency in Process and Service to Students,” National Association of College and University Attorneys, Denver, CO (June 24, 2014)
  • “Sexual Misconduct on Campus: New Federal Guidance,” National Association of College and University Attorneys, Denver, CO (June 23, 2014)
  • “Investigating Student Sexual Assaults in Higher Education,” Title IX Compliance Training Two-Day Workshop, Santa Clara, CA (May 28, 2014)
  • “Post-Secondary Institutions’ Enforcement of Title IX,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute: Prevent, Handle and Investigate Complaints of Sexual Assault & Violence on College Campuses, Philadelphia, PA (May 14, 2014)
  • “Sexual Misconduct on CAMPUS: New Federal Guidance,” NACUA Virtual Seminar (May 9, 2014)
  • “Two Worlds, One Problem: A Roundtable on Institutional Responses to Military & Campus Sexual Assault,” The Gender & Policy Network and The Center for International Security Studies at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ (April 28, 2014)
  • “The Institutional Response to Sexual Misconduct: A Coordinated and Integrated Response,” Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of New Jersey, Summit, NJ (April 16, 2014)
  • “Sexual Assault Prevention in Higher Education,” 2014 North-American Interfraternity Conference Annual Meeting (April 6, 2014)
  • “The Institutional Response to Sexual Misconduct under Title IX, Clery and the Campus SaVE Act” and “Internal Investigations, Including Considerations of Board Governance,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute: Representing Colleges and Universities, Philadelphia, PA (April 3, 2014)
  • “Responding to Sexual Assaults and Victims Groups,” The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania Annual Meeting, Harrisburg, PA (March 31, 2014) “The Institutional Response to Sexual Misconduct: A Coordinated and Integrated Approach to Title IX, Clery and Campus SaVE,” Maryland Independent College and University Association, Stevenson University, Owings Mills, MD (March 24, 2014)
  • “The Institutional Response to Sexual Misconduct: Incorporating the Impacts of Trauma in Effective Institutional Responses,” 2014 Virginia Campus Safety and Violence Prevention Forum, Portsmouth, VA (March 19, 2014)
  • “Training and Supporting Your Title IX Compliance Team,” NACUA February Workshop: Students Sexual Misconduct, Addressing Institutional Culture and Compliance, Miami, FL (March 1, 2014)
  • “Taking a Hard Look: The Emerging Role and Potential of Internal Investigations in the Higher Education Context,” 35th Annual National Conference on Law and Higher Education (February 15, 2014)
  • “Dialogue at UVA: Sexual Misconduct Among College Students ‘Complexities of Adjudication,’” University of Virginia (February 11, 2014)
  • “Title IX & Law Enforcement,” VAWA & Prevention Education and Clery Self-Assessment Toolkit Workshop (January 30, 2014)
  • “Issues Facing Fraternities and Sororities in Preventing and Responding to Sexual Misconduct,” National Pan-Hellenic Board of Trustees (December 7, 2013)
  • “The Integrated and Coordinated Approach to Title IX Compliance,” Pepper-Freeh Group Higher Education Webinar Series (November 21, 2013)
  • “The Institutional Response to Sexual Misconduct in Our Schools: Policies, Investigation, Reporting and Communications,” Head Mistresses Association of the East Annual Conference, Princeton, NJ (November 11-12, 2013)
  • “Moving Beyond Compliance: A Coordinated and Integrated Response to Sexual Misconduct,” 2013 NASPA Student Affairs Law and Policy Conference, Newport, RI (October 21-22, 2013)
  • “Moving Beyond Compliance: A Coordinated and Integrated Response to Sexual Misconduct,” Clery Center Proceeding in Partnership Conference, San Antonio, TX (October 16, 2013)
  • “Sexual Assault Policies Under Scrutiny,” Inside Higher Ed Webinar (August 15, 2013)
  • “The Campus Law Enforcement Response to Sexual Misconduct in the Wake of Evolving Federal Authority,” Eighth Annual College and University Police Investigators Conference, Fairfax, VA (August 8, 2013)
  • “The Title IX Investigation: Interviewing the Complainant,” Webinar, Pepper Hamilton LLP, Philadelphia, PA (June 26, 2013)
  • “Sexual Misconduct and Compliance with Title IX — Bigger May Not Be Better: Managing Risk with Integrated and Coordinated Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures,” NACUA Annual Conference (June 21, 2013)
  • “Responding to Sexual Misconduct Cases in the Institutional Setting Reporting Obligations, Title IX, Clery and Other Considerations,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute 11th Annual Nonprofit Institute, Philadelphia, PA (May 22, 2013)
  • “Sexual Assault on College Campuses: A Range of Perspectives and Information,” Gender and Women’s Studies, Villanova University, Philadelphia, PA (April 11, 2013)
  • “Investigating and Resolving Sexual Assaults on Campus,” Webinar, Pepper Hamilton LLP, Philadelphia, PA (March 13, 2013)
  • “Responding to Sexual Misconduct Cases in Health Facilities: Reporting Obligations, Title IX, Medical Staff Bylaws and Other Considerations,” 19th Annual Health Law Institute, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA (March 13, 2013)
  • “Changing Culture Through Commitment, Coordination and Competence,” Bold Without Boundaries 2013: NASPA Annual Conference, Orlando, FL (March 2013)
  • “Investigating and Evaluating the Sexual Assault Case: Practical Realities of the Credibility Case,” 2013 Campus Safety and Violence Prevention Forum and 7th Annual North Carolina Higher Education Safety Symposium, Roanoke, VA (March 2013)
  • “One Conversation: Changing the Culture Through Commitment, Coordination and Competence,” 2013 Campus Safety and Violence Prevention Forum and 7th Annual North Carolina Higher Education Safety Symposium, Roanoke, VA (March 2013)
  • “Combatting White Collar Crime in Higher Education: Internal Investigations and Implications of the Freeh Report,” Stetson University College of Law 34th Annual National Conference on Law and Higher Education, Orlando, FL (February 2013)
  • • “Title IX Compliance Workshop: Preferred Practices in Light of the Recent Yale and Xavier Letters,” Stetson University College of Law 34th Annual National Conference on Law and Higher Education, Orlando, FL (February 2013)
  • “Beyond Athletics: A Conversation about Title IX and Sexual Misconduct,” Collaborating for Change, Vision 2020 Third Annual Congress, Portland, OR (November 15, 2012)
  • “One Conversation: Changing the Culture through Commitment, Coordination, and Competence,” Plenary Session, Proceeding in Partnership: 25th Anniversary Event, The Clery Center for Security On Campus (October 5, 2012)
  • “Handling the Sex Offense Case,” course planner, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA (August 10, 2012)
  • “The Campus Law Enforcement Response to Title IX: Responding to Sexual Misconduct Allegations in the University Setting,” College and University Police and Investigators Conference (CUPIC), Fairfax, VA (August 2, 2012)
  • “Investigating and Evaluating the Sexual Assault Case: Practical Realities of the Credibility Case,” College and University Police and Investigators Conference, Fairfax, VA (August 2, 2012)
  • “Adjudication of Student Sexual Assault Cases after the Dear Colleague Letter,” National Association of College and University Attorneys Annual Conference, Chicago, IL (June 29, 2012)
  • Testimony on the Intersection of Child Protective Services Law with the Criminal Justice System, Task Force on Child Protection, Harrisburg, PA (May 3, 2012)
  • “Responding to Sexual Misconduct Allegations in the University Setting: Coordination with Law Enforcement,” Massachusetts Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (April 26, 2012)
  • “Responding to Sexual Misconduct Allegations in the University Setting: Policy Development and Implementation of Procedures,” Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA (April 12, 2012)
  • “Employee Training,” ESF Summer Camps, Team Leadership Conference, Rosemont College (April 11, 2012 and May 7, 2011)
  • “Sexual Assault and Title IX: A Practical Guide to Implementing Policies & Procedures,” Five Colleges Incorporated, South Hadley, MA (April 4, 2012)
  • “Responding to Sexual Misconduct Allegations in the University Setting: Policy Development and Implementation of Procedures,” Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, Virginia Campus Safety Forum: Addressing Sexual Assault on Campus (March 20, 2012)
  • “Understanding the Goals of Crisis Management, PR, and Media Management,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Protecting Our Children: The Responsibility of Organizations, Philadelphia, PA (February 27, 2012)
  • “Title IX and the SaVE Act – Compliance, Due Process, Investigation and Prevention of Sexual Misconduct,” Stetson University College of Law, 33rd Annual National Conference on Law and Higher Education, Orlando, FL (February 18, 2012)
  • Campus Sexual Violence Forum, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. (January 25, 2012)
  • “Sexual Assault & Title IX: A Practical Guide to Implementing Policies & Procedures,” Pre-Conference Workshop, Association for Student Conduct Administration, NASPA Student Affairs Law & Policy Conference, Arlington, VA (December 8, 2011)
  • “Title IX Training: Handling Complaints of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence; Responding to Sexual Misconduct Allegations in the University Setting; University Judicial Board Training,” Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI (November 9-10, 2011)
  • “Title IX Training: Handling Complaints of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence; Responding to Sexual Misconduct Allegations in the University Setting; Sexual Misconduct Judicial Board and Advisor Training,” Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC (November 7-8, 2011)
  • “Lessons From Tragedy: Legal, Professional, and Ethical Issues Raised by Bradley and Beyond,” Widener University School of Law, Delaware Campus, Health Law and Professional Ethics and Liability (November 4, 2011)
  • “Campus Response to Sexual Misconduct Through the Lens of Enterprise Risk Management,” National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) (November 3, 2011).
Ms. Smith’s publications include:
  • “Create Safer Campuses” (co-author), The Philadelphia Inquirer (April 14, 2014)
  • “Title IX: Responding to Sexual Harassment and Violence Incidents” (co-author), University Business (March 2014)
  • “The Paradigm Shift in Campus Responses to Sexual Misconduct: From Compliance to Compassion” (co-author), Today’s Campus (August 2013)
  • “The Labyrinth of Title IX: Clarifying the Dear Colleague Letter” (co-author), NASPA Leadership Exchange (Fall 2012).

Ms. Smith received the 2005 Distinguished Advocate Award from the Support Center for Child Advocates, for her commitment to abused and neglected children.

In 2011, Ms. Smith received the Philadelphia Victim Advocate Award by Center City Crime Victims Services. This award honors a crusader for victim’s rights whose dedication and passion inspires others to do more for the victims of crime in Philadelphia. In March 2012, Ms. Smith was honored by the Asia Adams Foundation for her advocacy for the rights of those affected by interpersonal violence. The mission of the foundation is to increase public awareness and educate children, teens, young adults and communities to protect their health, safety and welfare and to prevent teen dating violence.

Ms. Smith was recently featured in the news:

  • “In Campuses Sexual Assault Crises, An Outside Voice Offers Guidance,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 14, 2013
  • “Pepper Hamilton’s Gina Smith Has Built a Practice Advising Colleges on Sexual Assault Policies,” The American Lawyer featured counsel, September 2013.
Ms. Smith has been a faculty member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Commission on Capital Education since 2005 and serves on the CLE Committee of the National Association of College and University Attorneys. She is a past faculty member of the American Prosecutors Research Institute, the National and Northeast Regional Children’s Advocacy Centers, and the National District Attorneys Association. And she is a past participant in the National Judicial College’s Capital Improvements Initiative: Curriculum Development and Faculty Workshop.

Ms. Smith is an adjunct professor in trial advocacy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and a past adjunct professor at Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law. She has served as a mentor for second-year law students through the Temple Summer Professional Experience Curriculum, a domestic-violence protocol trainer at the Philadelphia Police Department, and as a guest speaker educating local high school, college and law students about sexual assault, domestic violence, and legal career topics.

Ms. Smith serves on the board of directors of The University of Pennsylvania’s Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice and Research and The Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy at Stetson University College of Law. She is also a member of the Center City Crime Victims Services Advisory Committee and the Support Center for Child Advocates Development Committee, and is on the board of the Chestnut Hill Youth Sports Club, where she also serves as the commissioner for boys’ soccer and basketball.

Ms. Smith is a member of the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and a past member of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association. She is a member of the American and Pennsylvania bar associations, and the Criminal Law Committee of the Federal Bar Association, Philadelphia Chapter.



Education
B.A. 1983 St. Joseph's University
J.D. 1987 Temple University School of Law


Bar Admissions
Admitted to practice in Pennsylvania


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