The Readers Speak

The Readers Speak Published February 2021 By SCPA Attorney Jay Bender From the earliest days newspapers in this country have published letters from readers.  A survey of early American newspapers reveals that a large portion of the content came from the letters of “correspondents.”The tradition of publishing letters to the...

Death Certificates

Death Certificates Published April 28, 2020 By SCPA Attorney Jay Bender When I die, I expect friends, acquaintances, and perhaps strangers to ask a common question, “How did he die?” The answer to that question for all persons who die in South Carolina is recorded on an official state record—a...

Public meetings in a time of pandemic

Public meetings in a time of pandemic Published March 11, 2020 By SCPA Attorney Jay Bender The current strategy to stall the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 virus is the maintenance of “social distance,” personal hygiene and youth. On the social distance side of the ledger, the Columbia Mayor...

USC president search skirts FOIA

USC president search skirts FOIA Published July 2019 By SCPA Attorney Jay Bender Well, this is a fine kettle of fish. The group that hired a president who treated public money as a slush fund, then replaced him with a president who moved out of the president's residence in a...

Legal Q&A: Advertising CBD oil

Q: Can I publish advertising for CBD oil? The sort answer is yes. The longer answer is that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that advertising for lawful products may be published without restriction where the advertising is neither false nor misleading. CBD oil may be sold lawfully in South...

Behaving badly in Mount Pleasant

By SCPA Attorney Jay Bender | I don’t live in Mount Pleasant, but if I were a newspaper columnist writing regularly about the shenanigans of local officials, I’d want to live there. I would never run out of material. Not so long ago the Office of the Attorney General of...

FOIA suit against S.C. House Republican Caucus

By SCPA Attorney Jay Bender | News organizations and associations, The State Media Company, The Post and Courier, Inc., Gannett GP Media, Inc., South Carolina Press Association, South Carolina Broadcasters Association, and the Associated Press, were rejected in their suit to have the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) applied to...

Amending the agenda

By SCPA Attorney Jay Bender | I was in Mount Pleasant recently. It had been years since I had driven north of Shem Creek on Coleman Boulevard. My drive north in search of lunch put into context the Save Shem Creek movement and the desire of many residents to slow...

Money laundering made easier

By SCPA Attorney Jay Bender | Money laundering had its origins with crime syndicates. Former SLED chief Robert Stewart said that one of the dangers of South Carolina’s legalization of video poker was that it provided a state-wide network of money laundromats.