Christina D. Riggs

Christina D. Riggs

Partner

Contact Info

Phone: (215) 972-7810
Fax: (215) 972-7257

Primary Office

Philadelphia
Centre Square West
1500 Market Street, 38th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102-2186

Christina D. Riggs

Christina Riggs is vice chair of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Higher Education Practice. In this role, Christina partners with higher education clients in their day-to-day operations by providing advice on student affairs issues, campus safety, the Clery Act, FERPA, state and federal discrimination laws, Title IX, Title IV, and many other matters. As a litigator, Christina draws on her courtroom experience to assist institutions in proactively managing high-profile exposure, minimizing risks, creating policies and procedures to protect against those risks, and identifying escalating issues. She approaches projects with the goal of providing strategic and practical advice.

Outside of work, Christina is an avid runner and triathlete. She has completed numerous multisport distance events including Ironman Lake Placid.

In addition to her state bar admissions, Christina is admitted to practice in federal district courts in the District of Columbia, New Jersey and across Pennsylvania, as well as in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Experience

Higher Education

Clery Act

Christina has extensive Clery Act experience nationwide. She has taken lead roles coordinating large-scale proactive and reactive internal investigations of Clery Act compliance. These investigations have ranged from single-issue concerns involving one-campus institutions to extensive compliance reviews involving many campuses in large university systems. Every year Christina reviews numerous ASRs/AFSRs before the October 1 deadline, in addition to fielding daily compliance questions on geography, timely warnings, emergency notifications, crime classification, and CSA identification, among others. She also provides basic to advanced Clery Act training upon request, and has offered this form of training over 20 times. Given the sensitivity of these matters, client names can be provided upon request, with client consent.

Title IX

Christina’s Title IX work runs the gamut from quick advice to full-blown audits; from campus-wide training to targeted sessions; and from assisting with an internal disciplinary process to defending Title IX litigation. In addition, she regularly leads schools through Title IX investigations brought by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

Select experience includes:

  • Defense of four separate Title IX complaints filed with the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education, each to a result of “insufficient evidence to support the claims brought forth by the respective complainant.”
  • Obtained a complete dismissal of a respondent Title IX case at the motion to dismiss stage.
  • Obtained a complete dismissal of a complainant Title IX case at the motion to dismiss stage.

Hazing

Christina frequently addresses issues regarding hazing on campus, whether by sororities and fraternities, athletes, or other student groups. Christina is experienced in defending hazing-related claims, drafting anti-hazing programs, and offering practical training on hazing risks and solutions.

Athletic Departments  

Christina holds a bachelor’s of science in biology and has in-depth experience coordinating with athletic trainers (ATCs) and medical experts in the context of student-athlete injuries. Christina has assessed sports medicine manuals and emergency preparedness policies and procedures to ensure compliance with NCAA mandates, NATA (National Athletic Trainers Association) guidelines, and state requirements.

Select experience includes:

  • Litigated claims that a university failed to comply with state mandates relating to ATC licensure, team physician operating procedures, and reporting lines between coaches and ATCs.
  • Handled investigations into alleged misconduct by athletic team coaches.
  • Counseled numerous schools on the appropriate disciplinary roles for coaches vs. conduct offices.

Title IV

Christina often helps institutions with Title IV compliance, including but not limited to program review and audit resolutions, federal guidelines governing marketing and recruiting practices, third-party vendor relationships, and student privacy regulations.

FERPA

Christina fields daily questions for schools relating to The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.

Employee Benefits and ERISA

Christina devotes a portion of her practice to disputes under both ERISA and non-ERISA governed insurance policies. This experience includes defense of over 100 group and individual life, health and disability cases for the country’s leading insurers. Christina has particular experience defending these cases in the Third Circuit and federal courts within that circuit. She also contributes to the Firm’s monthly Friday Five which keeps the industry apprised of developments in ERISA litigation.

 

 

Thought Leadership

Credentials and Accolades

Honors and Awards

Named one of The Legal Intelligencer's Lawyers on the Fast Track, 2018

Leadership Philadelphia, Core Class of 2018

Memberships and Affiliations

National Association of College and University Attorneys

University Risk Management and Insurance Association

Litigation Section, American Bar Association

Pennsylvania Bar Association

Philadelphia Bar Association

DRI Voice of the Defense Bar

Education

J.D., Villanova University School of Law, 2007, magna cum laude

  • Member, Order of the Coif
  • Chairperson, Moot Court Board
  • Finalist, Theodore L. Reimel Moot Court Competition
  • Quarterfinalist Outstanding Oralist, Theodore L. Reimel Moot Court Competition
  • Recipient, Dorothy Day Award for Pro Bono Service
  • Recipient, Dean's Merit Scholarship

B.S., Lehigh University, 2004, magna cum laude

  • Lehigh University Presidential Scholar
  • Lehigh University Good Scholar Representative

Bar Admissions

New Jersey
Pennsylvania

Firm Management Positions

Higher Education, Vice Chair

Christina Riggs is vice chair of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Higher Education Practice. In this role, Christina partners with higher education clients in their day-to-day operations by providing advice on student affairs issues, campus safety, the Clery Act, FERPA, state and federal discrimination laws, Title IX, Title IV, and many other matters. As a litigator, Christina draws on her courtroom experience to assist institutions in proactively managing high-profile exposure, minimizing risks, creating policies and procedures to protect against those risks, and identifying escalating issues. She approaches projects with the goal of providing strategic and practical advice.

Outside of work, Christina is an avid runner and triathlete. She has completed numerous multisport distance events including Ironman Lake Placid.

In addition to her state bar admissions, Christina is admitted to practice in federal district courts in the District of Columbia, New Jersey and across Pennsylvania, as well as in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.