Text Size:

Bench-Bar-Media Dialogue Series announced for Fall 2018 and Spring 2019

The Council for Court Excellence's popular Bench-Bar-Media Dialogue series is back! Since 2010, CCE has presented this dynamic event series that brings together judges, lawyers, and members of the press to discuss timely and engaging First Amendment and justice-related topics. Past Bench-Bar-Media topics include Justice on the Big ScreenLeaks and the LawJuvenile ConfidentialityCameras in the Courtroom, The Libby Trial, among others. 

Thank you to the 2018-2019 Bench-Bar-Media Sponsors!








 Sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Casey Anderson for details about how you or your business can sponsor our Bench-Bar-Media series. 

Recent Bench-Bar-Media Programs 

Erasing the Past: Emerging Law on Expungement, Record-Sealing and the Right to be Forgotten (November 14, 2018)

Europe’s highest court has upheld a “right to be forgotten”—specifically, that an individual can request that outdated or “irrelevant” information about them be removed from Internet search results. American judges, attorneys, journalists, and technology experts all are asking what impact, if any, the ruling might have here. The First Amendment and our strong tradition of public access to information may make it unlikely that a true “right to be forgotten” will take hold in the U.S. However, recent legislation - including proposals currently being considered here in D.C. - may signal a shift.


Advocates and lawmakers are advancing expungement and record-sealing proposals to give minors and individuals with criminal records and re-entering society the ability to erase certain evidence of their past from public view. Yet the persistence of information online and in public records, and the ease of locating it in the digital age, raise many interesting questions about privacy, policy interests, and the public’s right to know. 


Our distinguished panelists were:


  • The Honorable Charles Allen, Ward 6 Councilmember, Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary & Public Safety, Council of the District of Columbia
  • Anthony Belton, Lead Instructor, Flikshop School of Business
  • Rachel Kurzius, Senior Editor, DCist
  • James McLaughlin, Deputy General Counsel & Director, Government Affairs, Washington Post
  • The Honorable Milton C. Lee, Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division, Superior Court of the District of Columbia
  • Jessica Steinberg, Associate Professor, George Washington University Law School
  • Moderator: Lucy Dalglish, Dean, Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland

Panel to start promptly at 5:45pm, reception with light refreshments to follow. The event is free, but please RSVP as space is limited. 



 Upcoming Bench-Bar-Media Programs 


Fairness and Accountability in the #MeToo Era (Fall 2019)

Though the #MeToo movement first began in 2006 with activist Tarana Burke, it became a social media phenomenon in 2017, helping to spark a new wave of sexual harassment and assault disclosures. Today, #MeToo has left its mark on nearly every walk of American life – politics, business, the news media, Hollywood, academia, and the federal judiciary, among countless others. What are the lessons of the #MeToo era for lawyers, journalists and judges in D.C.? 

Join us in Spring 2019 (Date TBA) for a dynamic discussion of the many issues that must be navigated as our society grapples with a proper response to the #MeToo phenomenon. Our expert panelists will analyze and debate hypothetical scenarios from a media, legal, and judicial perspective and will consider challenging questions like: how can we ensure transparency when private arbitration forces these cases out of court? Should there be an exception in non-disclosure agreements for sexual assault or harassment allegations? What level of corroboration should news organizations require before publishing allegations?  How should accusers’ privacy be balanced against giving the accused a fair opportunity to defend him or herself?  Can the courts realistically be expected to get to the bottom of allegations that may date back years or decades?  (Can anyone?)  Stay tuned for details! 

Copyright ©2011-2012 The Council for Court Excellence. All rights reserved.