Between the Murdaugh Trial and the Media: Lessons from a Court Media Liaison

Join IABC/SC for a conversation and Q&A with attorney Jay Bender, who was appointed by S.C. Circuit Judge Clifton Newman to serve as a liaison between the court and the media in the high-profile murder trial of disbarred South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh. As a grisly case that has drawn national and international interest, it quickly became apparent that someone would need to bridge the happenings at the courthouse with the media’s nonstop coverage of the trial. A retired media law professor and fierce advocate for freedom of the press, Bender deftly shepherded the journalists who flocked to Walterboro from near and far to shed light on this significant case.

Come with questions and an appetite — we look forward to seeing you (virtually or in person).

About the Speaker

Jay Bender

Jay Bender is a retired law professor who has represented news organizations in South Carolina since 1980. He has built a national reputation as a lawyer for newspapers and broadcasters and is regarded as South Carolina’s foremost authority on the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act. Bender represents the South Carolina Press Association, the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, and many of the members of those associations.

Since beginning his media law practice in 1975, Bender has appeared in a multitude of trial and appellate courts, both federal and state, to advocate press-related cases. As a lobbyist for the South Carolina Press Association, Bender was instrumental in the adoption of amendments to strengthen the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act and the adoption of a reporter’s shield law. Bender has also published two books on South Carolina media law.

In his “spare” time, he is a motivational speaker.


When: March 22  | 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.

Where: Farm Bureau Insurance, 724 Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce, SC 29033

Lunch will be provided for in-person attendees.